A Renaissance for Early-Retirement Packages

As the prospect of layoffs looms large, companies are offering employees a less-painful way to exit -- for everybody involved

The moment of truth is fast approaching for older members of Chrysler Corp.'s white-collar workforce. About 3,600 salaried employees at the troubled North American unit of DaimlerChrysler have until the end of February to decide whether to cut short their Chrysler careers now and grab a sweetened early-retirement package -- or confront the possibility of a layoff.

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