DEARBORN - By the end of May, 2013, four election periods will be completed with approximately 57,000 retirees, including surviving beneficiaries, receiving their General Retirement Plan (GRP) lump sum offers. Overall, this initiative has been going extremely well in many ways since it was first announced on April 27, 2012. The remaining eligible retirees, surviving beneficiaries and alternate payees (those with a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or QDRO) will receive their offers in separate election periods conducted through the end of 2013. The most recent election period began on May 1, 2013.
The lump sum offer also will be extended to former employees who are vested in their GRP benefit who have not yet commenced their monthly benefit payment (those who left Ford prior to actually retiring, whether they could or not, at the time of termination). The first election period for these participants will begin on June 3, 2013.
While the Company is endeavoring to provide an offering to all eligible participants, there are circumstances that may restrict Ford’s ability to provide a participant with the lump sum opportunity, such as the requirements of a QDRO, complexities in the structure of the monthly pension benefit, or recent changes to the pension benefit. Participants will be notified if their opportunity is restricted because of these circumstances.
As has been the case for all election periods, communication material mailings begin approximately one month prior to the start of the participants’ election period. Ford encourages participants to review the materials provided by Ford and use their independent judgment to ensure that the decisions they reach are in their best interests. As a reminder, below are some highlights of the offering:
• This voluntary opportunity allows salaried (primarily) retirees, surviving beneficiaries, alternate payees, and former employees vested in this benefit, to receive the remaining value of their GRP benefit as a single lump sum payment instead of monthly payments.
• Participants will receive a Decision Guide before their election period begins that will help them understand their options and consider what is best for them.
• Each participant receives a personalized Election Kit that contains the value of his or her lump sum payment option, as well as other payment options that may be available to the participant. Specific instructions and forms for making the election are contained in the Election Kit.
Ford is also making available financial and tax education resources to those who are presently receiving a monthly GRP benefit payment, at no cost to the participant. To help retirees better understand the financial aspects of the options, these resources continue to be offered by Deloitte, an objective, third-party organization. The Company continues to receive excellent feedback from participants of the Deloitte group and individual education sessions and encourages lump sum candidates to take advantage of this free resource. Information on how to register for a session is included in the Decision Guide sent to those in an active election period.
For more information on the lump sum offer, visit www.myfordbenefits.com and click on GRP Lump Sum Information on the homepage.
Your employee benefits are governed by the terms of the applicable official plan document or policy. Summaries of your benefits are available; however, if a conflict exists between any summary and the official plan document, the official plan document prevails. The Company reserves the right to terminate, suspend, or amend any of its employee benefit plans, programs or policies at any time in accordance with applicable plan documents and subject to applicable collective bargaining agreements. You will be notified of any change after it is approved. Until a change is officially announced, no plan fiduciary or any other Company representative is authorized to disclose to you any information about a change under consideration. You should rely exclusively on officially announced information and plan materials. The Company's employee benefit plans, programs and policies are not part of any employment contract or a guarantee of continued employment. No employee, beneficiary, surviving spouse or other person has any legal or other right to benefits under the Company's employee benefit plans, programs or policies, except as provided by such plans, programs and policies.