Chrysler Cutting Life Insurance

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

It's one of those stories that makes you remember it's April Fools Day. The Free Press is reporting that Chrysler has cut life insurance to 14,000 white-collar retirees, offering a one-time pension increase in return. Chrysler will pay out $1k-4k to its non-union retirees, depending on time of service and length of time since retirement. Chrysler VP for Compensation, Benefits and Corporate Services (oxymoron, anyone?) Thomas Hadrych explains that Chrysler looked at the practices of other Forbes 1,000 companies and found that only 60 percent offered retiree life insurance. "This is in part a reaction to kind of our own internal situation, but it's also a reaction to what the competitive landscape across the full spectrum of companies in America offers," says Hadrych. As if this weren't a compelling enough reason to pull the rug out from under retirees, Hadrych also has an upcoming UAW payout to blame. Hell, he even made a call to MetLife on behalf of the recently-cut-off. "The company has made arrangements with MetLife to provide current retirees with a one-time opportunity to purchase life insurance at special group rates through the MetLife Voluntary Retiree Life Insurance Plan," says Hadrych, suggesting retirees use their one-time payout to buy insurance there. As cold-blooded as this all sounds, it's obvious that Chrysler has to cut somewhere. The fact that retirees don't build cars might be a sign that Chrysler actually does care more about cars than PR.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Apr 01, 2008

    Hmmm... Life insurance for a retiree? Sounds like a dumb financial move no matter who is paying the bill. Both Chrysler and the retirees would be better off sticking that money into an IRA of some kind.

  • Potemkin Potemkin on Apr 01, 2008

    What a great morale booster for the people Chrysler depends on to run things. Chrysler salary workers are being told that if they work hard and long they will get their reward. Sure retirees don't build cars but the people who do will see how they will be treated when they retire and will act accordingly. This is another reason why there is little company loyalty among the ranks in most companies. Unions have their drawbacks but you don't see Chrysler doing this to the hourly retirees.

  • DearS DearS on Apr 02, 2008

    Company loyalty has usually been a risky setup, actually dumb. Why trust a company? Whats so great about that? I say rely on smarts and assert one self towards getting your cut. Good company relations is the company respecting ones selfish ambitions and working together for mutual progress. While being realistic and independent. Some times whats best for the company is not best for the employee and vice versa. Both sides need to respect this truth and not take it personal. We do it all the time in other areas of life. This way moral and financial security are not placed on someone outside of self. Most folks seem to out of balance to go further than a union.