By now you've probably heard the White House has rejected the strategic plans of the Big Three automakers. General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner was asked to resign at the request of President Barack Obama.
What you probably haven't heard is that Wagoner will be eligible to drive away with $20 million in retirement benefits from GM, the corporation that lost tens of billions of dollars under the ousted CEO's leadership, ABC News reports.
"Upon his departure, Wagoner becomes eligible for both a "Salaried Retirement Plan" and an "Executive Retirement Plan" with General Motors. The combined value of the plans at the end of last year was $20.2 million, according to the company's filings with the SEC, although compensation experts said his age—56—may make him ineligible for the entire amount.
"Most of that will be paid out as an annuity over five years, the remainder is a small lifetime annuity," GM spokeswoman Julie M. Gibson said in an email earlier today. But in a subsequent "clarification" email after this story published, Gibson said that the terms of Wagoner's final compensation were not yet hammered out. "Specifics on any compensation entitled to, or actually paid to Mr. Wagoner are still being reviewed," she wrote.
GM has received "billions in loans" from Treasury Department and has requested billions more. Under its agreement with Treasury, the world's once largest corporation cannot pay severance fees to senior executives. But that ban does not appear to apply to retirement benefits. This is your tax dollars at work.
In related news, the president says auto "unions and workers [have] already made painful concessions" and will have make "even more." Funny. Must have missed the Administration's speech on "painful concessions" from Wall Street and ousted auto executives.