Skip to comments.Judge Lets Delphi Halt Salaried Retiree Benefits
Posted on 02/24/2009 12:28:43 PM PST by arichtaxpayer
NEW YORK (AP) A bankruptcy judge says Delphi can stop paying for health care and insurance benefits for its retired salaried workers. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain on Tuesday provisionally approved the auto supplier's request to cut off the benefits effective April 1. But he says the 15,000 affected retirees can form a committee to investigate if they have the right to negotiate with the company. The committee will present its findings at a March 11 hearing. Troy, Mich.-based Delphi Corp. has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since 2005. It says it needs to cut off the benefits as part of its restructuring. But attorneys for the retirees say the company is obligated to negotiate with the retirees before it cuts off their benefits. More than 1,600 retirees sent letters to the judge begging him to deny Delphi's motion.
(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...
Beware pension funds that are not separate from the corporation...the only good thing about having worked all those years for DEC.
While they’re in BK, they’re not required to negotiate with the retirees or the unions. They’re required to deal with the BK judge. That’s it.
motor city ping
Please explain....”pension funds that are not separate from the corporation”
Aw, jeez. That’s not good.
Man oh man I feel bad for those guys. Union or not, they kept their end of the bargin yet will get the shaft. A bad situation, and I pray all will be well.
Where's Nelson? Ha! Ha! ex-Union (UAW) members, not being helped by their union, have to organize to hire a lawyer to negotiate with their ex-employer. Bet they would have to ^pay^ the unions lawyer if they even offer one up! My sides are aching!
Really! I meant to put you in the list.
Not Union - these are the salaried employees.
DEC’s pension funds (now HP or whomever is the current iteration of DEC) are in a separate retirement fund entity. They have no financial ties to HP or any other public corporation. HP’s bankruptcy would not effect retirees’ pensions.
If I understand correctly, GM and subsidiaries negotiated retirement benefits intending to pay them out of future profits. That meant they created future liabilities without funding them. Union retirees are essentially sitting on a pile of bad debt that won't be repaid.
Yes....I was just wondering if there was some other vehicle that I wasn’t aware of....my husbands pension is with Vanguard in various funds...and NOT in his companies stock...so that should be the best scenario...although in these times....sheesh...
Nothing new, McDonnell-Douglas canceled medical just before selling to Boeing. I presume it made the price a lot sweeter. (No bankruptcy required, just do it)
That means $15,000 a year for insurance - more than just your sides would hurt!
Thanks for the correction. I stand.....
good one....next he will tell everyone to “endeavor to persevere”
That’s bad because if you’re not old enough to qualify for Medicare, and have a pre-existing condition...you won’t be finding private insurance, anywhere, at any cost, that will cover that condition.
SURE. NO problem. BUT we cannot allow the auto workers to get the same thing can we?!?!??!?!
I fear your eperience will be shared by the vast majority who worked in the domestic automotive sector.
I’m guessing (without knowing all the specifics of the pension plan) that this was strictly through the company and not subject to any sort of insurance over the accounts?
In any case, I can definitely sympathize with those affected by this ruling. Had this happened to my grandparents (who were VERY well taken care of by Caterpillar after my G-pa’s 40+ years with them), I don’t know how they would’ve survived really...
We got notice a few months back that the company my husband’s pension from his first job was through went bankrupt. Fortunately, the pension plan was insured by the government (kind of like FDIC from what I understand) - the only thing is that since my husband is only 39, and we don’t really trust the gov’t to be solvent in 25 or so years we will be electing to receive a lump sum payment - after taxes and penalties it will come to be something like 5K... That’s it, but I suppose it’s much better than nothing at all!
We lost a little “safety net” for our retirement (not like we were depending on that alone mind you), but seeing the way things are going currently with our economy it seems a safer bet to pay the penalties and control where our money goes today (i.e. using it for a downpayment on a home or some such thing) than wait and MAYBE see it when we’re 65+.
It’s a shame there wasn’t some provision in these people’s retirement/pension plans for this situation. One cannot expect an employer to exist forever - especially in this economy. However, there should be some way to compensate these former employees and not just hang them out to dry as seems to be happening... At least MORALLY these employers have a duty to these people even if legally they don’t.
I should’ve added that you, your family, as well as your former co-workers will be in my prayers. I can only imagine the anger and frustration you must be feeling right now...
If it’s the salaried workers, they probably weren’t union.
Just working stiffs like many of us.
Note to self: Hit refresh before composing post.
I suspect that non-union employees are going to be victims in order to scare others into unionizing.
There was. Many people sent paperwork to the Judge that had the words “for life” in our benefit descriptions. For some reason, it’s only ‘binding’ if it’s a union agreement apparently.
It will be tough. Sure we have savings, but we figure it will cost us at least $600 for health and dental insurance. Throw an amount like that into an already tight budget.
Yes. The pension fund, if run by independent entity was a completely seperate investment vehicle that wasn’t invested primarly in the company stock. So if the company stock is wiped out, the pension fund should still be there.
With all the bankruptcies and seized companies recently, who gets nailed are the retirees who were receiving deferred compensation packages and healthcare benefits.
Many times, the compensation packages are wiped out instantly.
Unfortunately, what is not being talked about is what it costs the private US taxpayer and government worker in taxes to pay for all the goobermint retirees.......that’s a different system entirely...wonder if that judge would rule the same for the US to balance its goobermint spending?
Thanks. It’s very frustrating. We have about 8 years before Medicare kicks in. I really feel sorry for those who have had cancer or heart attacks, etc. How the heck will these people get insurance?
Yup...group insurnace can’t discriminate because of pre-existing conditions, but if you have a private policy they can—it’s because they can’t make enough money off of you.
This has nailed me as well - retired salary.
Results of this termination = It will now take my entire monthly retirement check to replace what they have taken. I can’t do it.
Makes one wonder how much howling would take place if this were to happen to our politicians. The government is broke (bankrupt) as well.
Take the benefits they have earned see what happens.
Why doesn't anyone teach real economics?
“That means $15,000 a year for insurance - more than just your sides would hurt!”
Actually, it probably just means more folks who won’t be able to afford private insurance and will now be willing to accept socialized medicine. I’m sure there will be A WHOLE LOT MORE desperate folks will be willing to accept when the economy (intentionally) tanks...including setting our sovereignty aside and merging to a North American Union.
Free Trade NAFTA will kill you
most parts are from China now
So what is our solution for people like that? A bottle of aspirin and prayer?
What does a person in their 50s without insurance now do?
Pay out of pocket for doctors’ visits.
Only take prescriptions that are on the generic list at WalMart.
Look up health maintenance issues online and try to stay informed.
You can go to the emergency room if you end up with a stroke or a heart attack caused by a chronic condition that you haven’t been able to keep controlled. Then you can declare bankruptcy for the costs associated with that.
Something that requires expensive treatment like kidney disease or cancer... there really is nothing, unless you become impoverished, give up your home, and go on Medicaid.
What is the Conservative solution to this situation? I gather from discussion in other thread’s it’s to accept that no one else should have to pay for your misfortunes, and that the American system is the best in the world. So is the solution for all the sick Americans who can’t pay for their treatment to die?
>>Union or not, they kept their end of the bargin yet will get the shaft.<<
That’s what bankruptcy does. Creditors feel the same way.
Sorry to hear about that.
Imagine if you could have invested 100% of your SS benefits in the market. Even in a market that is tanking (like this one) you’d still be way ahead of your current retiree benefits from Uncle Sam.
Paging UAW lackeys...pick up the red F-U phone UAW lackeys.
Yes, but it's been done.
It's been done to someone else (for now), sure. But now it's been done.
Right. Their moral obligation should have been to set up an outside fund. Although, the one silver lining is that more and more young people see through this and either are independent contractors with their own funds or don’t work for companies that make unfunded promises.
The politicians beds are well feathered.
Actually, the solution is to free the market for health care. Walmart tried to set up medical clinics to handle minor stuff and were blocked. Most states have laws about prescriptions from doctors outside the state. They also block doctors from foreign countries from practicing here. If they dropped the enforced slavery of doctors through emergency room laws, etc.
You’d see medical prices plummet. If they allowed nurses or even technicians to set up limited practices you’d still have a referral service to experts and doctors, but not the incredible expense for simple procedures.
Government has created the health care crisis.
That’s not going to help for chronic illnesses like kidney failure, or for major medical like breast, prostate, lung or other cancers. Or are you proposing that any “doctor” or nurse be able to hang up a shingle unregulated? Back-alley cheap dialysis parlors? $1500 “cancer surgeries” performed in motel rooms?
I thought that the argument was that the Marcus Welbys of the country were driven out of business by the high cost of medical malpractice insurance. Are you proposing that medical malpractice cases be forbidden? How “market-driven” and unregulated do you want medicine to be - unfettered and Ayn-Randian?
Cletus: Stay on your feet, it's too early to be falling down (at least out here).
I don’t have a solution.
I have MS. If we didn’t have group, I’d probably get a private insurance policy to cover other things, but they sure wouldn’t cover anything to do with the MS.
How would that change my life? I wouldn’t take the “disease modifying med” I now take (too expensive), I’d refuse tests that are routine now but probably not affordable w/out insurance, however, I would continue to take the meds for symptom relief, I’d make a way to pay for those because they are what enhances my quality of life.
Here’s the problem with private insurance and a chronic illness...the insurance tries to blame everything on the chronic illness so they won’t have to cover the problem.
Everybody can feel safe saying people should “pay their own way”, as long as you are winning the health lottery. But we truly have little control over our own health when it comes to many diseases, so nobody should get too smug and believe “that won’t happen to me, I’ll never be in that situation.”
But I still believe you play the cards you’re dealt and if you can’t afford a treatment, well you can’t afford a treatment. If the means are there to finance it, fine, or if a drug company is willing to give you a break on a med, okay, other than that I have no answers.
Guess the jokes on them. I'm glad I didn't take that job oh them so many years ago.......
Medical boards keep bad doctors in place. My wife worked for one and she would bring home horror stories, but clearly medical malpractice lawsuits need to be better managed. “Loser pays” laws would alleviate a lot of that. If states with bad juries were to lose doctors and pay the price it would influence bad decisions.
Probably the best fix for poor jury pools would be to pay jurors their current wages. In Illinois you get $17.50 plus bus fare & day care. Unless you are unemployed or on welfare you lose money. This disincentive creates poor jury pools which lead to bad decisions.
I understand your concern about the free market. The media, government schools and most pundits (creatures of the previous two) point out only the flaws in the market, but rarely the negative effects of government policy.
Economy means household management. So when you fear the free market you are really saying you fear your own decision making abilities. Mavens, people who work hard to know a certain subject, generally correct for fraud/poor service/errors in the market place. This is proved and easier than ever with the Internet. Book, restaurant and seller reviews prove this. It would work the same with medical practitioners, no?
Imagine further what you describe as back alley cancer surgeries or “unregulated” medicine. Would you use those? Few people ever know where their doctor graduated from or how he did relative to his peers. They don't investigate their doctors background at all. When was the last time you asked for your doctor to produce his license?
The difference would be choice. Consumer choice is the best cure for bad practices and high prices. It has also been shown that as the simpler issues in services/products have their prices reduced - in this example say getting your flu diagnosed at Walmart as opposed to making a Drs. appt. or being able to make your own prescription and freely buy and sell prescription medicine - you would lower your cost of services. This translates to lower product/service costs across all medical procedures.
Eliminating regulation means trusting people. It mostly works and when it doesn't you have the courts and public opinion as your redress.
As you can see in the current economic downturn, regulation did not prevent fraud or bad business practices. Your belief in regulation as a protection likely hurts you more than you realize.
Delphi screwed the workers in my area big time a few years ago. Went bankrupt, dumped pensions on the taxpayers, and split millions among those who penned the deal.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.