AmerenIP management employees and a certain percentage of employees who are members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1306 were eligible for the program, subject to certain allowed acceptance limits. Of those who have requested to take advantage of the offer, 93 are Local 1306 members. Some vacated positions will be subject to acceptance limits or otherwise refilled as necessary to maintain operations. As a result, the actual net staffing reductions within AmerenIP will be less than the number of employees who accepted the company??s offer. Ameren believes the net staffing reductions from the voluntary separation offer will be consistent with its expected labor synergies resulting from the acquisition of Illinois Power.
AmerenIP President Scott A. Cisel says the voluntary separation program is a win-win for the company and for employees. ??Since completing our acquisition of Illinois Power, we have been working to integrate operations and improve our processes for providing reliable, top-quality service,?? Cisel said. ??Ameren??s vision is to be the performance leader in the utility industry. We are focused on achieving that vision by providing safe and reliable service, enhancing customer satisfaction, maintaining financial strength and flexibility, and delivering solid, long-term returns for our shareholders. This voluntary separation program helps us achieve these goals in a manner that is fair for our employees.??
Employees who accepted the offer will leave the company over the course of 2005. Departure dates for each individual will be established based on business need, including completion of work to integrate AmerenIP functions into the Ameren system.
The program was entirely voluntary and offered an enhanced separation benefit of a minimum of 26 weeks of pay and a maximum of 78 weeks of pay. Ameren will pay 100 percent of all medical and dental premiums for a number of months based on the employee??s service, with a six-month minimum and an 18-month cap on those payments.
The program also included an extension of early retirement eligibility for pension and retiree medical plan purposes for those eligible employees age 50 to 54 with at least 10 years of service on Dec. 31, 2004.
Cisel stressed that this program does not affect the commitments Ameren has made in acquiring Illinois Power Company, including the corporation??s pledge to limit the number of involuntary management employee reductions to 25, to keep the headquarters of AmerenIP in Decatur for at least five years, to invest between $275 million and $325 million in energy infrastructure investments over its first two years of ownership, and to give $1.5 million annually to United Way, civic, charitable and social service organizations in AmerenIP??s service territory, among other pledges.
Ameren, through its subsidiaries, serves 2.3 million electric customers and 925,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois. With assets of nearly $18 billion, Ameren owns a diverse mix of electric generating plants strategically located in its Midwest market with a capacity of more than 14,800 megawatts.
Safe Harbor Statement Statements made in this release, which are not based on historical facts, are "forward-looking" and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such "forward-looking" statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. These statements include (without limitation) statements as to future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions, and financial performance. In connection with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the company is providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The following factors, in addition to those discussed elsewhere in this release and in past and subsequent securities filings, could cause results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such "forward-looking" statements:
the impact of the adoption of new accounting standards and the application of appropriate technical accounting rules and guidance;
future wages and employee benefits costs, including changes in returns on benefit plan assets;
difficulties in integrating Illinois Power Company with the company??s other businesses;
changes in the energy markets, environmental laws or regulations, interest rates, or other factors adversely impacting synergy assumptions in connection with the Illinois Power Company acquisition; and
legal and administrative proceedings.