Welcome to the GENMO Salaried Pension Organization
Dear GENMO Member,
GENMO became a non-profit corporation in January 2009. At that time we knew we would require funding for any eventualities that would require us to retain a legal firm such as SGM. Initially we asked for an annual membership fee of $25 plus $25 for initiation. As time went on and legal fees continued to increase your fee went up to $75.
Without your financial support we never would have won our benefits lawsuit (O’Neill vs. GMCL).
As a part of the settlement, GMCL has reimbursed GENMO for all of our legal costs pertaining to the lawsuit. We are now in a very stable financial situation for any future litigation dealing with benefits and pension issues.
Due to our financial stability, the GENMO executive has decided to give members who have paid their 2014 membership fees a “membership fee holiday”. You will be receiving a letter in November with a self addressed return envelope. We want you to fill in and mail your 2015 registration as you do every year, but you will not have to send in any money (fees).
New members will pay a $25 membership fee plus $25 initiation.
Going forward, we will decide on an annual “fee” requirement that is dictated by the circumstances at that time. Remember, we will always have ongoing costs.
A full financial accounting will be given at our next AGM in May 2015.
Once again, thank you for all of your support.
Your GENMO Executive
Lynn McCullough GENMO Resignation
Dear GENMO Member,
Lynn McCullough, the GENMO Director of Legal and the Representative Plaintiff in the “O’Neill vs. GMCL” benefits lawsuit has resigned his position as a GENMO executive effective September 10, 2014 due to personal reasons.
We all owe Lynn a great debt of thanks for the countless hours he spent on behalf of the 3,200 class members and the successful outcome of the lawsuit. Lynn’s efforts and strength are the main reason we were so successful.
Lynn also was key in representing the interests of all GENMO members, including those not in the class, in both benefit and pension issues.
Lynn will still remain as the class Representative Plaintiff.
Mike Powell (GENMO VP) will take on Lynn’s duties as the Director of Legal.
Please join us in wishing Lynn all the best as he gets on with his life and enjoys a healthy and happy retirement.
Your GENMO Executive
MONTHLY HEALTH CARE CONTRIBUTION- TAX SLIP (T4A)
Your ‘monthly healthy care contribution’ amount is not shown on the tax slip (T4A) from GMCL. We attempted to have this included but GMCL claims that it cannot be done, although other auto companies itemize it. If you require this information to use as a medical expense when preparing your income tax form please contact the GM Canada Benefits Centre at 1-877-442-4625.
Your GENMO Executive
GENMO 2013 – THE YEAR IN REVIEW
This is a brief summary of the GENMO Organization’s activities and accomplishments in 2013.
GENMO’s most significant achievement was the successful outcome of the Class Action Law Suit “Joseph Michael O’Neill and General Motors of Canada Limited. GMCL appealed Justice Balobaba’s decision. The date of the Appeal is June 12, 2014.
- The Class Action law suit, was heard in The Ontario Superior Court of Justice on May 27, 28 and 29th.
Justice Balobaba was the presiding Judge;
Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP represented GENMO; Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP represented GMCL.
Buses were arranged for transportation of GENMO members.
- In July, Justice Balobaba’s decision ruled in favour of the Plaintiff on most issues
- GENMO / SGM identified some issues in the judgment that were unclear and a case conference was held with Judge Balobaba for clarification.
- GMCL appealed the decision of Justice Balobaba.
GENMO cross-appealed on several issues which were found in favour of GMCL.
In December GMCL approached GENMO to negotiate a settlement
A court date of June 12th, 2014 is scheduled for the Appeal if we are unable to reach a settlement prior to that date
GENMO executives meet monthly, usually on the second Tuesday of the month. Agendas and Minutes of the regular meetings and membership reports are sent to Area Representatives across Canada.
GENMO Area Representatives meet with members in their geographic areas
The AGM was held in May at the Regent Theatre in Oshawa.
The Pension Committee meets with a GMCL financial representative quarterly to review the performance of the Pension Plan
GENMO is a member of the Canadian Federation of Pensioners (CFP). The CFP represents over 250,000 retirees. Brian attends monthly meetings.
The Political Action Committee developed a pro-active approach to increase awareness of the impact to communities should GMCL withdraw manufacturing from Canada-
- Letter was sent to Ontario Finance Minister Sousa in June
Brian, Mike prepared tutorials and documentation for consistency when meeting with mayors and politicians at all levels
Met with the Mayor of Oshawa in September
- Letter was sent to Kevin Williams requesting information regarding the underfunding of the pension planin August and response to reply in November.
GENMO executives attended meetings with Unifor to discuss pension issues and with an administrator of the HCT in December
GENMO executives attended meetings with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO)
GENMO encouraged all members to visit the Ontario Liberal Party Website and respond to their request for prioritizing issues in preparation for the upcoming election
GENMO had 3123 members in 2013.
GENMO executives and Area Representative are volunteers
- Member volunteers assist with FSCO concerns, political action, membership, legal action, communications, website and AGM
O’Neill V. GMCL COURT CASE UPDATE
THE RESTORATION OF SALARIED BENEFIT AND LIFE INSURANCE LOSSES
As you may be aware General Motors of Canada appealed the Ontario Superior Court decision of Justice Belobaba which ruled in favour of most of our issues. We cross-appealed on the few remaining items in dispute.
Our case will be heard in front of the Court of Appeals for Ontario on March 18, 2014 at Osgoode Hall. In this one day proceeding three judges will hear our case. It is expected that it will take four to six months for a decision to be released.
A somewhat similar case, Lacey verses Weyerhaeuser, in British Columbia was decided in favour of the retiree (Lacey) by the B.C. Court of Appeal back in May, 2013. Although Weyerhaeuser wanted to appeal this to the Supreme Court of Canada, the court recently denied their leave to appeal; consequently, the BCCA decision is final. This could have a major influence on our case.
P.O. Box 82555,
Oshawa, On L1G 7W7
August 7, 2013
To: Mr. Kevin Williams
President and Managing Director
General Motors of Canada
1908 Colonel Sam Drive
cc: Mr. Jeff Rolfs
Mr. Dave Courtney
GENMO Salaried Pension Organization is a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of the approximate 8,000 members of General Motors of Canada Limited (GMCL) salaried pension plan.
The specific purpose of this note is to request clarification from you about GMCL's plans to fully fund the salaried pension plan.
Our members are very concerned that the wind up ratio of their pension plan has been deteriorating consistently, another 3% decline last year, while GMCL commits to make only the minimum contribution to the plan. This at the same time as GM in the United States announced it was making a $900 million contribution to the US plan, even though no payment was necessary.
GMCL has decided not to publish annual financial statements, so there is nothing in the public domain relative to GMCL's financial health. However the following facts are in the public domain; General Motors is more profitable than ever (most profitable year ever was $7.6 billion in 2011), and that General Motors is selling more vehicles than ever, 9.2 million in 2012.
For GMCL's performance, statements such as "We are focused on building a profitable business which has long-term viability, which is in the best interest of all of GM's stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, retirees, dealers and suppliers." indicate GM is doing well in Canada.
My question to you is, given General Motors financial turnaround since 2009 and the backdrop of the $900 million contribution made to the US pension plan, what is your plan to fully fund the Canadian salaried pension plan?
GENMO Salaried Pension Organization
Dear GENMO Member:
Today, Justice Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found in favour of most of the members of the class action commenced against GM Canada. The following is found on our law firm’s web site:
“Class Action Against GM Canada Succeeds
On July 17, 2013, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted summary judgment in favour of 98% of class members represented by Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP in the matter of O’Neill v. General Motors of Canada Ltd, a class action commenced on behalf of salaried and executive retirees of General Motors of Canada Ltd. arising out of the reductions and eliminations to their post-retirement benefits over 2008-2010. The class action was certified on consent in 2011 and the case proceeded to a motion for summary judgment on the issue of whether GMCL breached its contracts with the class members in reducing/eliminating their benefits. The court agreed with SGM that GMCL was contractually obligated to provide the promised benefits, and breached its contracts with the former salaried employees by reducing and eliminating those benefits. However, the court found that GMCL was permitted to reduce the benefits of a smaller number of executive retirees because their contracts contained different language. The initial representative plaintiff, Joseph O’Neill, worked for GMCL for more than 40 years. Lynn McCullough, who became the representative plaintiff in 2012 after Mr. O'Neill passed away, worked for GMCL for 44 years. GMCL promised to provide the former salaried employees with post-retirement benefits, including healthcare and life insurance, in various documents provided to them over their careers. In 1994, GMCL began including a “reservation of rights” clause in its benefits documents, which it claimed allowed it to “amend, modify, suspend or terminate any of its programs (including benefits).” Over 2008-2010, GMCL implemented a number of reductions to the post-retirement benefits, including the elimination of semi-private hospital coverage and a severe reduction in the amount of the basic group life insurance benefit. Some class members lost over $100,000 in life insurance coverage as a result of the reductions. The court agreed with SGM that the benefits were provided to the employees as a matter of contract and as “deferred compensation” for class members’ services to GMCL. The court further found that former salaried employees would reasonably expect that the benefits provided to them were secure and would continue for life, based on the promises in the booklets. In this context, the court found that the “reservation of rights” clause language was not sufficiently clear to permit GMCL to reduce the benefits after retirement, and that more explicitly language alerting employees to the possibility of reductions after retirement was required. One third of the class retired early pursuant to early retirement agreements. The court agreed with the plaintiff that nothing in these agreements altered GMCL’s obligation to continue to provide post-retirement benefits, and found that GMCL breached the contracts of the former salaried employees when it reduced and eliminated their benefits. With respect to the executive post-retirement benefits, the court found that the language in the benefits documents was much clearer in conveying that the benefits were not guaranteed and were subject to reduction. Accordingly, the court found that GMCL could lawfully reduce the benefits of executives after the point of retirement and had not breached its contracts with the executive class members in so doing. The class members were represented by Steven Barrett and Christine Davies at Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP.” We have not had a chance to study the decision in great detail but note Justice Belobaba felt that GMCL was entitled to reduce the CSERP benefit of executives. Also we have to seek clarification of paragraph 105 where he concluded “…class members that have not prevailed are ..salaried retirees who continued to work after becoming eligible to retire and were working when the impunged reductions were announced…”, In paragraph 80 he wrote “I find that GMCL was not contractually entitled to reduce the health care and basic life insurance benefits after the salaried employees had retired.” There is a timing conflict between these two paragraphs which our law firm will have to sort out. Press here for the O’Neill v. General Motors of Canada decision or see "Class action Status". Thank you very much for your support. Unfortunately the fight is not over yet. Your GENMO Executive Brian Rutherford, Mike Powell, Jan O’Neill, JoAnn Stuart, Denise Cay, Doug McDowell, Garry Marnoch, Lynn McCullough, Alanna Lyczba
GENMO AREA UPDATE MEETINGS GENMO’s executives are trying their best to communicate with all members across Canada. Because of the nature of General Motors of Canada manufacturing centres, most salaried retirees are located in southern Ontario. We also have “chapters” located in Moncton, Ste Therese and in the west mainly in the Vancouver area. Last September Lynn McCullough, Mike Powell and Garry Marnoch visited the Ste Therese membership and provided a pension and benefits lawsuit update, as well as a question and answer period. On March 20 Mike Powell visited the east coast membership in Moncton for a similar update. In the Oshawa area Brian Rutherford gives a monthly 10 minute update at the GMCL Salaried Retiree Association meetings. In April we will have update meetings in London on April 10 at 1:00 PM and in Windsor on April 11 at 10:00 AM. In May we will be having the GENMO Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the 9th at 4:00 PM at the Regent Theatre in Oshawa and an update meeting in St Catharines on the 13th at 1:00 PM. We have yet to set a date for an update meeting in the west.
We hope that all GENMO members in these areas are able to take advantage of the updates to your benefits and pension. Even though our economy seems to be slowly turning the corner, these are still uncertain times. We must remain vigilant.
FEBRUARY 5, 2013 APPEAL
GMCL’s appeal regarding the production of documents issues was successful. Justice E. Morgan accepted their argument that the minutes and financial statements were not ‘contractual’ documents and therefore could not be included under the terms of the settlement agreement. This means that GMCL is not required to produce the minutes we have requested and it also means that we cannot rely on any of the minutes/financial statements we had included in a recent affidavit.
However, we still feel that we have a very strong case and will move forward with our Plaintiff Factum (by April 15) and Reply Factum (by May 15). The court will hear our case on May 27 and 28, 2013.
Recent Court Hearings
On December 20, 2012 we were in court to force GMCL to produce historical benefit plan documents and retain certain financial documents which we show in affidavits for our case. We believe that this information is important and relevant to our case. Master Glustein found in favour of us. He wrote "... I find in favour of O'Neill and order GMCL to produce corporate minutes and resolutions concerning the creation of the benefits plans at issue in the action. Similarly, I dismiss GMCL's motion to strike the DiMartile documents." Also, "I dismiss GMCL's motion to strike the Financial Statements as evidence from the O'Neill affidavit." (As you may know DiMartile is suing GMCL.) GMCL is appealing the judge's decision; this appeal should be heard this month or next.
We were in court on January 16, 2013 seeking to have GMAC retirees, and several other individuals as well, included in our class action. We were not successful as Justice Belobaba wrote "I agree with GMCL that the current class definition cannot reasonably be interpreted to include these non-GMCL retirees or GMCL retirees who retired after the end of the defined class period." He reasoned regarding the GMAC retirees that they "entered into employment contracts with GMAC ......and not with GMCL. They are not ‘retirees' of GMCL. They have no contractual claim against GMCL."
We will be working with GMAC retirees and other individuals who were not allowed into the class to determine the next course of action.
CLASS ACTION SCHEDULE
||August 20, 2012
||October 16, 2012
|Plaintiff’s Reply Record (if any)
||October 26, 2012
||May 1, 2013
||May 15, 2013
|Motion Dates (in front of Justice Belobaba)
||May 27,28 2013
ALL SALARIED RETIREES AND ACTIVE EMPLOYEES MUST BE VIGILANT OF THEIR VESTED INTERESTS:
General Motors Corporation has forsaken their Salaried Retirees in the United States. At age 65, retirees lose all of their meagre benefits except for their $10,000 life insurance policy. They are now losing their "defined benefit" pensions to a choice of a lump sum payment or an annuity with the Prudential Insurance Corporation. Active salaried employees were forced into a ‘defined contribution' benefit plan. Seniors now have to become amateur actuaries to decide on what is best for them and their families. No matter what the choice is, they will lose. So much for loyalty and hard work; GM wants all "legacy costs" off of their books.
General Motors Corporation has forsaken the Active Salaried Employees at GMCL. In 2013 the "defined benefit" pension will be grandfathered and a "defined contribution" pension will be unilaterally forced on them. Employees who retire after June 1, 2014 will lose all of their benefits at age 65. So much for loyalty and hard work; GM wants all "legacy costs" off their books.
GMCL Salaried Retirees are suing the Company for lost benefits, including life insurance. Back in 2009, GENMO saw the writing on the wall and decided to push back at GMCL's never ending, unilateral benefit takeaways. GM wants all "legacy costs" off the books. Although the court case is progressing slowly, we feel very positive about winning the class action.
From the GMCL Salaried Employees Actuarial Valuation as at September 1, 2011, provided by Towers Watson, the pension plan is 79% funded. Starting on September 14, 2015, GMCL has five years to fully fund the pension plan (September 1, 2019) as per Regulation321/09 of the Pension Benefits Act.
At this time we do not know GMCL's long term plans for the current ‘defined benefit' pension plan for all current retirees. We do know that GM wants all "legacy costs" off their books.
Be very vigilant. Your continued support for GENMO is appreciated.
contact GENMO at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 82555, Oshawa, ON L1G 7W7
Who is your local MP ? Who is your local Ontario MPP ?
GENMO Salaried Pension Organization is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the protection of the pensions, benefits and other common interests of its members and surviving spouses. It is neither sponsored nor endorsed by General Motors of Canada.
Please understand that we SUPPORT GENERAL MOTORS and we encourage everyone to support General Motors and continue to be an advocate. It is in everyone's best interest for General Motors to succeed as a financially viable company.
We encourage you to visit GM Canada's website and examine their line of award winning products and services.
About This Site
Here you will find information about our goals, who we are and how we operate along with ongoing information about your GM Pension and Benefits Plan status.
This is a new site and we are constantly adding information so be sure to visit often.
Please send comments, questions and suggestions to email@example.com.
If you are a GMCL salaried retiree, a surviving spouse,
or an active salaried employee, please join us.
We all need your support.