The amount a General Motors retiree may receive as a Christmas bonus is contingent on the parameters of the contract between GM and the United Auto Workers union. In 2015, the carmaker and the UAW struck a four-year pact that offers $500 Christmas bonuses to GM retirees.
The Christmas bonuses are essentially year-end payouts that provide an inflation-based pension increase for retirees. Due to the fact that GM pays these bonuses in December, they are known as Christmas bonuses. Prior to 2011, retirees and surviving spouses got Christmas bonuses of up to $700 and $455, respectively. In 2011, a new contract reduced bonuses but expanded retirees’ health coverage to include four yearly doctor visits, two annual dental cleanings, and one annual eye check.
In 2015, the UAW successfully negotiated contracts with Fiat Chrysler and Ford, the other two Detroit-based automakers. During the contract term, Ford retirees receive $1,000. Employees of Fiat Chrysler did not earn a bonus.
According to the provisions of the agreement, all three automakers’ retirees receive coupons for the purchase of a new car or truck. Each year of the arrangement, Fiat Chrysler provides retirees with a $1,000 voucher, GM delivers a $500 coupon, and Ford provides a $250 voucher.