Chrysler Retirees Get Some Good News

June 15, 2009 ( - A group of salaried Chrysler employees got some encouraging news last week.

According to the Detroit Free Press, about 1,000 salaried employees who had non-qualified pension benefits through the automaker’s Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan faced losing all those benefits because of the bankruptcy.

But, according to the report, Chrysler said Friday that those benefits would be resumed in full until the salaried retiree reaches age 62. Salaried retirees who are 62 or older, though, still would lose those specific pension benefits. About 700 salaried retirees in that group are 62 and older now; the rest are under age 62, according to the Free Press.

About 5% of Chrysler’s salaried retirees received some benefits from this specific plan. As of the closing date of the transaction, Chrysler’s so-called SRP obligations will be assumed by Chrysler Group LLC for retirees under age 62. Some retirees already saw those payments stop for the past two months. Chrysler said Friday those payments are expected to start in the near future and will include payments retroactive to May 1, as applicable. At 62, other benefits including Social Security would replace some of those lost benefits, according to the report.

The National Chrysler Retirement Organization, which represents salaried Chrysler retirees, continues to want to see those benefits restored for those 62 or older. The group had run full-page ads in both the Free Press and the Detroit News, noting that Chrysler made clear in bankruptcy court that it would include salaried retirees in its future when it agreed to bring most obligations for pensions and benefits to the new company, as it promised to do with UAW retirees.