Opel wants to save on employee retirement benefits. Negotiations are to be carried out quickly on “a fundamental modernization” of the system.
Around 15,000 employees of the car manufacturer Opel in Germany have to adjust to cuts in their company pension plans. HR manager Ralph Wangemann informed the staff in an internal message on Friday that negotiations with the works council on “a fundamental modernization” of the system should be started quickly.
The company pension scheme, which is carried 100 percent by the company and has “been well above the market standard for many decades”, is “a significant cost factor”. The average rate of return is reportedly still at 5 percent despite the general rate lows.
An Opel spokesman justified the advance with the massive slump in the global economy in the corona crisis. “In addition, the automotive industry is facing the challenge of far-reaching structural change, which requires the continuous optimization of cost structures,” said the spokesman.
In order to guarantee a sustainable pension for Opel employees, the existing system of company pension schemes had to be adapted. “Of course, already acquired pension capital remains protected,” emphasized the spokesman.
The manufacturer, which is part of the French PSA group and has its headquarters in Rüsselsheim, Hesse, did not provide any information on the total volume of company pension schemes and the amount of the savings targets.