Missouri Utility Trims Retiree Medical, Offers Voluntary Retirement Packages

November 4, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Ameren Corp. will offer voluntary retirement packages to 14% of its 7,400 employees.

To qualify employees must be employed on a regular full time basis, be at least 50 years old and have been employed with the company for at least 10 years.    The package will be offered until December 20, 2002 and those accepting can expect to be released from Ameren at the end of the year.

Both management and members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1455 are eligible.   Ameren has projected a fourth quarter charge to earnings of $30 to $50 million based on 300 to 500 employees taking the offer.

The parent company of Missouri’s largest electric utility has also announced a modification of certain retiree medical benefit plans.   The modifications will result in caps on costs to the company and increased retiree co-payments.   In addition, all Ameren management wages will be frozen beginning next year.

These moves come after Ameren’s April announcement of plans to purchase CILCORP, Inc. for $541 million and the assumption of $859 million in debt.   This deal would make Ameren the second largest electrical utility in Illinois.

The company is now seeking ways to trim costs and bolster efficiency, which may also lead to involuntary staff reductions.