Anheuser-Busch offers enhanced perks for workers to retire early

ST. LOUIS Anheuser-Busch this week said that in order to cut administrative costs it is offering salaried workers an early retirement package. This announcement came after A-B filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The improvements to the A-B retirement plan include better pension and medical benefits, and severance monies payable to those employees who will be age 55 years old or older by the year’s end. About 8,600 employees will be eligible for the program, more than 1,000 of whom are age 55 and older, the company said. A-B said that around 10 percent to 15 percent of those eligible are expected to accept the plans and retire.

The company also reported that of those eligible for the new retirement offer, 360 are “ket employees” for whom the retirement offerings will include between 15 months of base pay to twice their salaries, as well as other benefits. Vice president and chief financial officer W. Randolph Baker was named among these key players and would $2.7 million, if he agrees to the package.

A-B last month waved the green flag for a takeover bid by Belgian brewer InBev to acquire the company for $52 billion. The retirement and severance costs and related expenditures of $100 million to $140 million should provide A-B with a one-time pretax charges between $400 million and $525 million in the third and fourth quarters of 2008, sources had said.

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