GM's Rick Wagoner Gets $8.6 Million Consolation Prize

July 15, 2009

Good news: former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner has finally been given a retirement package. Bad news (for Rick): it's about a third of what he was hoping for.

When the Obama administration's auto industry task force booted Wagoner from his position at General Motors last March, details of his retirement plan were thrown into the air, and he was put on a $1 per year salary. Now Wagoner has reached an agreement with "old GM" (officially known as Motors Liquidation company, evil twin to the exciting and new General Motors Company) for a package that's roughly 60% lower than the one he might've taken home if the corporation he oversaw hadn't been run into the ground and forced into bankruptcy.

Prior to the General Motors bailout, Wagoner had been on track to receive an executive package that paid over $4.5 million per year for five years, totaling about $23 million. He was also due some $68,900 per year in regular salaried retirement benefits . Under the new agreement his annual executive pay will be reduced to $1.64 million, making a total of $8.6 million over the five-year executive plan. He'll also receive a $74,030 pension. As a bit of lagniappe, Wagoner also gets to keep a life insurance policy valued at $2.6 million, which he can cash in if he chooses.

As always in these cases, Wagoner's retirement package still sounds awfully cushy to those of us staring up from the middle class, but for him, that golden parachute is bound to look a little tarnished.

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