But wasn't this initiated during the Bush WH? Unpopular but there is the alternative of a liquidation type bankruptcy. And even if GM were to go out of business the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (a US gov. agency) would have to back up pension liabilities which would be in the billions and billions. Corporate pensions are going out of style. But there are people around today who are entitled to them and they have to be dealt with. BTW, Ford did NOT get a bailout package but seem to be doing very well.
From here:http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/co ... 963114.htm"Pensioners and Employees
If GM went belly-up, retirees, workers, and taxpayers could all take a hit. Right now, its $90 billion pension fund is fully funded on an accounting basis. But the government-backed Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which acts as a safety net for corporate pension plans, says GM is underfunded by $31 billion.
How that would play out in a GM bankruptcy would be complicated. The PBGC could be on the hook for billions in pensions. The agency also could force the Detroit giant to keep funding its own pension plan even in bankruptcy -- though the company could make the case that it should pay less. Still, GM's 450,000 retirees would get hit: They may end up with smaller pension payouts, and their medical benefits, as well as the health-care plans of existing workers, would most likely be whittled back.
I guess it's a catch 22. People would get smaller pensions but it would still be tax dollars backing up people's retirements.