CORRECTED-Peugeot expects 2,500 early retirements in 2014-15

Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:46am EDT

(Corrects 2013 payroll to 15.1 pct of revenue in paragraph 2)

PARIS, June 26 (Reuters) - PSA Peugeot Citroen said on Thursday that up to 2,500 older French workers will leave the carmaker's payroll in 2014-15 as it cuts headcount under a deal struck with unions last year.

Paris-based Peugeot, which employs some 70,000 people in France, has pledged to cut payroll costs to 12.5 percent of group revenue by 2016 from 15.1 percent last year, under the "Back in the Race" recovery plan unveiled in February.

The departure terms for senior workers amount to a form of early retirement - funded by restructuring charges rather than payroll until the employees reach pensionable age.

The number, higher than the 2,000 previously anticipated by unions, reflects a bigger-than-expected uptake of the voluntary scheme, human resources chief Philippe Dorge told reporters.

The programme successfully "reconciles economics and the recovery of PSA with our employees' interests", Dorge said.

A separate buyout offer to a broader section of the workforce has drawn fewer volunteers, prompting Peugeot to double the financial incentives to reach a projected 250 departures this year.

Under the deal with unions, Peugeot is also hiring cheaper young workers under temporary training contracts.

Dorge declined to give targets or projections for the total number of job cuts under the savings plan. (Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Writing by Laurence Frost; Editing by James Regan and David Evans)

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