Ameren Seeks Buyouts

By St. Louis Business Journal

Ameren Corp. said today it is offering voluntary retirement packages to cut costs.

Approximately 715 of the roughly 5,700 Ameren Missouri and Ameren Services employees are eligible for the buyouts.

Eligible employees are being offered a lump-sum payment of two weeksâ¿¿ pay for each full year of service with a minimum of 13 weeks and a maximum of 52 weeks of pay. Eligible employees will have until Dec. 22 to decide whether to accept the voluntary separation offer. Those who accept are expected to leave the company by the end of the year.

Eligible employees must be 58 or over as of Dec. 31, 2011, and be full-time, regular employees. Management and employees, who are represented by unions that have agreed to participate, are eligible. The offer is not available to officers and certain management employees in key business areas, due to operational needs, the company said.

Ameren spokesman Brian Bretsch said the company has no predefined target and can't predict how many employees will accept the offer at this time. He also said he couldn't release any estimates on how much the company expects to save through the staff reductions until it knows which and how many employees accept the offer.

⿿We are tightening our belts during this challenging economic period by taking prudent, proactive steps to efficiently and effectively manage our costs for the ultimate benefit of our customers,⿝ Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Voss said. ⿿Clearly, we will not make staffing reductions that affect our ability to continue to provide safe and reliable service. However, this program is part of our continued efforts to create an organization that can operate effectively in an environment where demand for energy has softened, costs are rising and our reimbursement for those costs in rates continues to lag.⿝

Earlier this month, Ameren announced plans to close two coal and oil plants in Illinois, affecting 90 workers.

St. Louis-based Ameren Corp. (NYE: AEE) had $7.64 billion in revenue in 2010 and serves 2.4 million electric customers and nearly 1 million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area in Missouri and Illinois.

Copyright 2011 American City Business Journals

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/news/2011/10/21/ameren-seeks-buyouts.html?ana=thestreet

Copyright bizjournals.com 2010

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