Former GM Execs Suing over Retirement Benefits

May 11, 2011 ( - More than 100 former General Motors Corp. executives are suing the automaker in federal court to recoup millions of dollars in pension benefits lost following GM's bankruptcy.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the retirees, including former vice presidents and other high-ranking managers, are trying to recover benefits plus interest, and increase their future payouts. GM says the executives’ claims already were reviewed and properly rejected by the pension plan administrator.   

The retirees’ lawyer says since July 2009, the retirees have lost millions, but because the amount varies greatly by retiree, the total loss is difficult to calculate, according to the news report. GM is wrongly calculating how much to cut from retiree benefits, combining salaried retirement benefits with a separate benefit given to executive retirees. All of the retirees listed in the lawsuit receive both benefits.   

The lawyer explained that salaried retirement benefits have been cut by two-thirds, while only benefits in excess of the salaried benefits should be cut by two-thirds for the executive plan. Salaried retirees had requested a say before the bankruptcy court about the proposal to cut benefits (see Salaried GM Retirees Request Bankruptcy Court Voice).  

GM also cut retiree medical and life insurance benefits (see GM Announces Retiree Benefits Cuts).