Federal judge approves Ford health care trust

August 29, 2008 6:11:32 PM PDT
Ford Motor Co. says a federal judge has approved a trust fund set up by the automaker and the United Auto Workers that will pay retiree health care bills for union members. Dearborn-based Ford says Friday that the fund, called a voluntary employees beneficiary association, will cover about 200,000 UAW-represented Ford retirees and their surviving spouses in the United States.

Federal judges approved similar agreements between the UAW and General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC in July. All three automakers are scheduled to shift their retiree health care obligations to the VEBA funds on Jan. 1, 2010.

Ford has said it expects a net cash flow benefit of $1 billion per year once the retiree health care costs are shifted to the trust.