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Chrysler freezes pension plan for 8,000 employees

WASHINGTON Chrysler Group LLC said Friday that it is freezing the pensions of roughly 8,000 U.S. salaried employees at the end of the year.

The U.S. automaker said it is making the move to stay in line with industry trends and to comply with IRS regulations.

The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company declined to detail the specifics of the IRS issue, but said it is currently in compliance. Company spokeswoman Shawn Morgan said the compliance matter is not related to underfunding of the pension.

U.S. companies in general have moved away from traditional, or “defined benefit” pensions due to the cost. General Motors (GM) made a similar move last year when it froze traditional pension benefits for 19,000 salaried workers hired before 2001. Such pensions guarantee a specific payment to retirees.

Chrysler said that all of its affected employees will be shifted to a defined contribution plan. It also lowered the age at which employees can begin claiming all of their retirement savings to 58 from 62.

The company closed its pension plans to new participants at the start of 2004. The freeze does not affect those hired from that point forward or those who have already left the company or retired. All of the benefits accrued through Dec. 31 will remain in place, and employees will not lose what they have earned to that point.

Chrysler, majority owned by Italian company Fiat, has 65,500 employees worldwide

© 2013 The Associated Press.

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Amazon Looks at the Grocery Business

     Everyone knows how Amazon has shaken up the Dot Com world with their way of selling everything online. Now Amazon is looking at going into the grocery business affecting a number of industries not only including the major grocery chains, big box stores, and all of their associated warehousing and delivery systems, but also UPS and FedEx. They plan to develop their own delivery system in the regions where they implement the grocery system.
     Here’s the skinny.