Q & A on the news

Q: My husband is a General Motors retiree. We have heard nothing about how the salaried employees are being handled. What happens to the pension plan that he is a part of?

—- Barbara Moore, Duluth

A: General Motors pensions appear to be safe despite the auto company's filing for bankruptcy June 1. The federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. issued this statement: "Although General Motors Corp. has entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, its two defined benefit pension plans remain ongoing under GM's sponsorship. Both plans, one for hourly workers and one for salaried employees, continue to be insured by the PBGC, which guarantees benefits up to limits set by law. Stakeholders in the bankruptcy, including GM, the United Auto Workers and the U.S. government, have stated their intent to maintain the plans under the sponsorship of a new corporate entity to be formed from the sale of GM's productive assets. The PBGC will work with all parties to achieve that outcome, which would be in the best interests of GM's more than 670,000 pension plan participants and the pension insurance program." However, GM said that it was working to reduce some retiree benefits for salaried workers, including life insurance and health care coverage. For information, call 1-800-489-4646 or see the PBGC Web site, www.pbgc.gov.

Louis Mayeux wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We'll try to get an answer. Call 404-222-2002 or e-mail l.mayeux@comcast.net (include your name and city). Sorry, individual responses are not possible.