Last year, Toyota's Kentucky plant offered employees early retirement packages. The 150 workers who took up the offer received healthy payouts and left the company.
Toyota opened its Kentucky plant 20 years ago, in 1986. In the United States, retirement comes after 25 years of service. As Kentucky began operating in 1988, it's estimated Toyota will have to start paying out pensions to anywhere from 700 to 800 plant employees from 2013. The early retirement packages it offered came about in an effort to reduce the huge costs it would have to pay if many people retired around the same time.
"It did reduce some of the burden," an insider from the Kentucky plant says.
The Full Scoop:
I honestly believe this is what is killing Ford and GM. They have all those pensioners to provide for and it's costing them their leading spots as the world's best.
I wonder if the US had a national health care system if that would help improve the competitiveness of GM and Ford? Ford and GM should also be setting up their own in-house hospitals where they can treat workers BEFORE they get seriously ill and prevent long term illness and disease that in the end will save them money, just as Toyota is doing.... An ounce of prevention...
Toyota's got it down. They know how to help workers without breaking the bank.