Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS), based in Plano, announced that it would offer early retirement to 12,000 eligible U.S. employees. The technology systemsand services company, which has approximately 136,000 employees in 64 countries, is making the offer in order to reduce costs.
According to EDS spokeswoman Lisa Bonet, “[t]he early retirement offer makes enhanced retirement benefits to our employees and enables us to reduce our cost structure and make us more competitive.”
Just under a quarter of EDS’ 50,000 U.S. employees are eligible for the early retirement offer: all of the company’s U.S. employees who are at least 50 years old with five years’ vesting in the pension plan. EDS is offering these employees five times the amount credited to their personal cash balance pension account from July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007, in addition to $10,000.
Final note: Considering making an early retirement offer? Be sure to run the plan and the details by experienced legal counsel. Age discrimination lawsuits are a real risk if the offer isn't structured just right.
- Feel free to change schedules if it will save money or improve operations
- Balance need for racial diversity against threat of reverse discrimination lawsuit
- Prevent retaliation claims by maintaining confidentiality of bias, harassment complaints
- It's up to employers to prove they're acting in good faith
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