General Motors Pension Plan Benefits Overview

With the recent news of pension buyouts and lump sum offering the root pension benefits associated with the General Motors program have become muddled. On this page we will attempt to cover both the original pension benefits for both blue and white collar employees / retirees. We will also cover some of the recent changes, developments and what is reasonable to expect for the future.

Before jumping into the specifics of the General Motors pension plan it is first important to understand what a pension is and how it works.

Pension Overview

In the most basic terms, a pension is essentially a contract for a fixed amount to be paid on a consistent interval to a person or estate. Pensions are most commonly associated with the retirement from a company and were made popular during the second half of the 20th century by large corporations as an incentive or employee program to increase loyalty, decrease attrition and ensure long term skilled worker satisfaction.

There are several types of plans including defined benefit plan which is usually solely company sponsored converse to a defined contribution plan where both the employee and employer participate. It is important to note that qualified pension plans are often a legal obligation of the company and are protected by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). These assets are secured in a trust which is essentially a protected savings account.

GM Benefit Calculation

The amount of pension benefits for GM employees varies based on the following factors:

  • Years of Service
  • Salary / Wage at time of Retirement
  • Age of Employee at time of Retirement
  • Type of Employee (Salaried vs Hourly)

If you are a former GM employee or retiree, the best place to find out the specific information about your pension benefits is at On this website there is a Benefits page where you can login or register to see your current distribution and options. If you are an active current General Motors employee the website for this information is See our resources page for more important links.

Please note the following important facts about the GM Pension:

  • In order to fill future liabilities, the pension trust fund must be solvent for the lifetime of current and future pension recipients.
  • Assets and liability were transferred during the bankruptcy settlement, however many changes were made to ancillary benefits. (See the Retirement Services page for more information)
  • Investments of assets and modifications to pension liability are controlled by General Motors.
  • GM is legally required to keep the trust 100% funded but can for business reasons delay this.
  • Since 2008 the General Motors has been consistently underfunded.
  • Significantly underfunding (<60% could lead to a turnover of the fund to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp (PBGC).