Ohio’s congressional delegation is calling on Congress to reinstate a tax credit for health care they say helped former auto workers. The Health Coverage Tax Credit, which expired in January, covered a large part of health premiums for people who’ve lost their jobs or seen changes in their retirement benefits—
Many former employees of the Delphi auto plant depended on the credit. It was another blow for thousands of Delphi retirees, including about 2 thousand in Dayton, who saw their pensions drastically reduced after Delphi’s 2009 bankruptcy.
Lawmakers on Capital Hill Wednesday heard testimony surrounding the Treasury Department’s role in the loss of pensions for Delphi salaried employees, shedding new light on how the decisions were made.
The hearing surrounded a report by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP)*. It finds that General Motors was pressured by union contracts and time restraints to restore the pensions of union employees, while non-salaried employees lost 30 to 70 percent of their pensions.
A federal judge has ruled in favor of Delphi retirees and their motion to compel the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) to release documents surrounding their decision to cut pensions for some retired auto workers. PBGC gained control over those pensions in 2009 when GM filed for bankruptcy protection.
As a result of the filing, pension payments for non-union Delphi workers were cut 30 to 70 percent, while the pensions of retirees represented by the United Auto Workers and other unions were not.
A government inspector general says President Barack Obama's administration played a key role in the General Motors bankruptcy in 2009 as pensions were cut for salaried Delphi Corp. retirees but not unionized workers and retirees of the supplier.
The report issued Thursday stopped short of saying the administration's role was right or wrong. It made no recommendations.
About 20,000 Delphi salaried retirees - nearly half in Ohio - saw their pensions cut by as much as 70 percent during GM's bankruptcy.