(WXYZ) - Today is decision day for 42,000 General Motors' retirees. They have the option of taking their pensions as lump sum payments or continuing to receive their pension checks on a monthly basis. This applies to former salaried employees who retired between October of 1997 and December of 2011.
If eligible retirees decide to take the lump sum option, the paperwork must be postmarked by today.
The offers depend on the age of the retiree and the date that they separated from the company. Sources say the lump sums average between $300,000 and $800,000. Some of the younger retirees have been offered more than $1 million.
General Motors is handing off management of the pensions for salaried employees to Prudential. The move is expected to save the automaker $26 billion.
Retirees who elect to take the lump sum could receive their payout by the end of August.
Financial planners say that the retirees need to consider how long they expect to live and if they can manage money well. Another consideration is inheritance. Lump sum payments can be passed on to family when the retiree dies.
Retirees who do not take action will continue to receive their monthly checks. The checks will come from Prudential rather than General Motors.
Ford says it will make similar offers to its 98,000 salaried retirees. Chrysler says it has no plans to offer similar deals.
General Motors has said that depending on how well this works, they may try to negotiate similar settlements with UAW retirees.
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