Ex-GM chief's pension cut to $8.5 million

Rick Wagoner, who was forced out of top job in March, agrees to an $12 million cut in payments he was due over the next five years.

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By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer

Former GM CEO Rick Wagoner
Former GM CEO Rick Wagoner

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner will receive $8.5 million over the next five years -- a reduction of about $12 million in his retirement package, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday evening.

The filing was made by Motors Liquidation Co. (MTLQQ), the company that holds the unwanted assets and liabilities the automaker left behind when General Motors emerged from bankruptcy Friday.

The filing shows that Wagoner will get about $1.7 million a year for the next five years, and after that he will receive about $74,000 a year for the rest of his life.

The filing said that Wagoner agreed to the reduction in benefits. The deal takes effect Aug. 1. GM declined to comment on the filing.

The company's previous filing on the subject in March estimated that the value of Wagoner's retirement package was about $20 million. Those estimates did not include Wagoner's stock holdings in the automaker. All GM shareholders had their investments wiped out by the bankruptcy filing.

Wagoner had just over 200,000 shares of GM's stock, and options for 4.3 million additional shares, according to recent filings. It is not known if he sold any of those shares after he departed the company and the value of those shares plunged in the two months before the bankruptcy filing.

His annual pension payments were reduced 10% to $74,000. The cut is in line with the pension reductions imposed on other salaried GM retirees.

Wagoner, 56, had been CEO of the company since 2000, and had worked at GM since 1977, joining the automaker soon after graduating from Harvard's business school.

Wagoner's departure was announced March 29. The next day, President Obama pledged additional help to keep GM in business, but Wagoner's exit was one of the conditions of that aid.

The Treasury Department gave or pledged $50 billion in help to GM. The company, which filed for bankruptcy protection on June 1, is now 60.8% owned by U.S. taxpayers. To top of page

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