UPS reducing workforce with retirement buyouts

UPS said employees who took retirement buyouts will leave the company on a staggered schedule over the next 12 months.

The Sandy Springs-based shipping giant said Tuesday it was not disclosing how many employees have taken the buyout, but that they will leave at different times “to maintain business continuity.”

UPS did say it is taking a $263 million charge in its second quarter financial results, primarily due to severance for the retirement buyouts.

UPS CEO David Abney said participation in the buyout program “met our expectations.” To those leaving the company, he said: “We appreciate your contributions and wish you the very best in your retirement.”

Speaking to investors on a conference call, he reported a 7.3 percent increase in profit to nearly $1.5 billion in the second quarter.

7/9/18 - Atlanta - Employees work on finishing the construction of UPS’s southeast ground hub on the west side of Atlanta on Monday, July 9. Jenna Eason /

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The company said the buyout initiative will reduce UPS headcount and lower staff expense.

Once the buyout program is completed in the second quarter of 2019, the company expects it to generate annual savings of around $200 million.

UPS announced the voluntary retirement plan in April, offering buyouts to some of its U.S.-based management employees eligible for retirement.

“Obviously, the headquarters is impacted,” along with other locations around the country, UPS chief financial officer Richard Peretz said in an interview. The Sandy Springs headquarters and a large office in Alpharetta “aren’t changing…. [The change] could be who’s sitting in the chair and what they’re doing — more technologists, more artificial intelligence people,” he said.

The company is expanding in other areas, with plans to open a new regional hub in Fulton County on Aug. 6 near Charlie Brown Field.

The company said it will give more details on its long-term strategy at a "transformation conference" in New York in September.