Ford Offers Early Retirement Incentives

September 10, 2001 ( - Ford is reportedly making preparations to offer some top senior managers as much as a year's salary, next year's vacation pay, enhanced pensions and $ 25,000 toward the purchase of a new car or truck if they'll leave the automaker this fall.

Ford is trying to get as many as 5,000 workers (see Ford Cost Cuts Target 5,000 Salaried Workers ) to accept the voluntary buyout under the Voluntary Incentive Separation-Retirement program with offers varying based on age, rank and experience, according to the Detroit Free Press, citing a company memo circulated in late August to mid-level managers.

Although Ford has asked managers to return the document, saying that the buyout plans needed some minor revisions, the Detroit Free Press said it was very similar to one workers will officially begin receiving next month, citing sources within Ford.

Buyout Options

The memo reportedly details three categories of buyouts under the Voluntary Incentive Separation-Retirement program:

  • general salaried employees and lower-level managers, 50 or older with at least 10 years of service, or 65 with at least one year of service
  • general salaried employees and managers who have at least one year of service but aren’t old enough to qualify for the retirement offers
  • higher level executives who are at least 52 years old with 10 years of service

All workers who leave the automaker also would get access to a job recruiter, career counselor and a financial counselor. To qualify for a full retirement at Ford, a worker’s age and years of service must add up to 85.

The automaker has also halted white-collar overtime, restricted travel and eliminated bonuses for its top 6,000 executives (see Ford Execs Lose Bonuses ).

Document-ed Agreement

In a separate report, Ford Motor and lawyers for management-level employees suing over alleged age, race and gender discrimination have reached agreement on a compromise for handling sensitive internal Ford documents.

While much of the material has already been reported on (see Managers Sue Ford For Reverse Discrimination , Ford Shifts Gears On Employee Grading System ), the parties agreed that the plaintiffs will remove certain internal documents from their Web site ( ). Plaintiffs also agreed that any documents not received from Ford directly in the course of the lawsuit would remain confidential. However, the lawyers will not have to return any material to the company.