General Motors retirement plans are managed by Fidelity Investments, which maintains an online retirement benefits portal at GMBenefits.com. GM maintains separate plans and rules depending on whether you are a salaried employee, an hourly worker, still actively employed or retired, so the procedure for getting a refund varies. To access detailed information available at GMBenefits.com, first create an account. Other GM pension plans are administered by Prudential, which offers online benefit access to members at Gm.Retirewithpru.com.
In 2012, GM offered a pension buyout to 42,000 salaried employees who had retired between 1997 and 2011. Employees in this group were given the option to accept a lump sum distribution of the value of their plan or to continue receiving a monthly pension benefit from Prudential Insurance Co. GM made this change in order to exit the business of offering pensions and to reduce its future liability for making pension payments, according to Reuters.
Lump sum buyouts like the GM offer are no longer permitted under a July 2015 ruling by the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Treasury Department, according to Financial Advisor magazine. The Pension Rights Center considered them an abusive practice and stated that taking a lump sum in exchange for guaranteed retirement benefits left retirees without protections under federal law. The new rule prevents future offers to retired employees already receiving benefits, but offers can be made to employees who haven't yet retired.