CBS Inc., which recently defeated a hostile takeover bid by Atlanta broadcaster Ted Turner, said today it is offering early retirement to about 2,000 employees, or 7% of its total work force.
The one-time opportunity offers “significantly increased” pension benefits to employees eligible to retire under their pension plan if they elect to retire now, CBS Chairman Thomas Wyman said in a memorandum to all employees and made available by the network.
The employees have until Nov. 1 to decide whether to accept the offer, Wyman said.
To be eligible, the employees must be at least 55 years old and must have at least 10 years of pension-service credit, he said.
Under the offer, CBS will calculate the pension benefits as if the employee were five years older and had completed five additional years of service, Wyman said.
“As we all understand, CBS is in the process of examining ways in which we can streamline our operations to ensure our ability to be competitive in all our businesses. We hope that the availability of this very attractive voluntary early retirement option will assist us in reaching this objective,” Wyman said.
CBS, which has about 30,000 employees, repurchased 21% of its stock for $150 a share, or almost $1 billion, after Turner bid more than $5 billion in stock for the company.