Wagoner's pension shift: More earlier, less overall

Rick Wagoner: New exit rules
Senior executives at General Motors could retire with full benefits earlier, thanks to changes in the retirement plan. But they'll get less in the long run, with payments over a shorter period.

Execs now will be fully vested at age 60 rather than age 62. GM says it restructured its retirement benefits program to be more competitive and to cut costs.

The new plan, which was effective Jan. 1, 2007, initially boosted CEO Rick Wagoner's pension plan value to $4.02 million from $1.46 million . But after that initial increase, future benefits will accrue at a lower rate, a GM spokeswoman says.

As a result, Wagoner's expected retirement benefits at age 60 will be 18 percent lower than they would have been under the old plan when he hit 62, GM said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It did not provide age-62 comparisons for Wagoner, now 55.

The changes, which also affect other senior executives, mean benefits will be paid as an annuity over a five years, rather than indefinitely over an executive's life, said a GM spokeswoman.

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