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GE Trades Higher After Announcing US Pension Plan Freeze

GE Trades Higher After Announcing US Pension Plan Freeze

General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) shares were trading higher in Monday's premarket session after the company announced it is taking action relating to its U.S. retirement benefits as part of its strategic priority to improve its financial position.

The company will be freezing the U.S. GE Pension Plan for approximately 20,000 employees with salaried benefits, and U.S. Supplementary Pension benefits for approximately 700 employees.

The actions announced are expected to reduce GE’s pension deficit by approximately $5-8 billion and industrial net debt by approximately $4-$6 billion, according to the company. 

General Electric said it is prefunding approximately $4-$5 billion of estimated minimum ERISA funding requirements for 2021 and 2022. The company will be offering a limited time lump-sum payment option to 100,000 eligible former employees who have not started receiving their monthly pension payments. 

“Returning GE to a position of strength has required us to make several difficult decisions, and today’s decision to freeze the pension is no exception,” Chief Human Resources Officer Kevin Cox said in a statement. 

"We carefully weighed market trends and our strategic priority to improve our financial position with the impact to our employees. We are committed to helping our employees through this transition." 

GE shares were trading up 1.05% at $8.66 in Monday’s premarket session. The stock has a 52-week high of $13.78 and a 52-week low of $6.66.

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