GE freezes pensions for 20K, trimming up to $6B in debt

A General Electric Co. logo hangs above the entrance to a building where a GE news conference was being held in New York U.S. on Wednesday Oct. 21 2009

A General Electric Co. logo hangs above the entrance to a building where a GE news conference was being held in New York U.S. on Wednesday Oct. 21 2009

About 700 employees in its supplemental pension program, geared toward executives, will also have their pension benefits frozen.

It's the latest cost-cutting move by CEO Larry Culp, who took over the company previous year, and is expected to trim $6-8 million in debt. The news sent the company's stock price up 2.6 percent. GE will not use any of its cash to fund the lump-sum payments, instead, using assets from the company's pension trust.

The company has announced net debt reduction actions of between $9 billion and $11 billion, including tender offers to purchase up to $5 billion of its existing debt, in the past one month.

The moves will affect about 20,000 employees in the company's main US pension plan.

GE said it will continue to evaluate options to strengthen its balance sheet.

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GE shares rose about 2 per cent in pre-market trading in the U.S. The company had 97,000 U.S. employees at the end of 2018, or about a third of its worldwide workforce. He is a former GE employee, though he took a buyout of his pension plan years ago. A potential ruling will represent Ireland's first decision related to US companies since privacy laws went into effect. It faces approximately $54 billion in industrial net debt.

"We carefully weighed market trends and our strategic priority to improve our financial position with the impact to our employees".

The company said 20,000 of its salaried employees will stop accruing new benefits starting in 2021.

The company said it will also be freeze supplementary benefits for about 700 U.S. employees who became executives before 2011. He sold GE's biopharmaceutical business to Danaher for $21.4 billion, divested a jet-leasing unit and unloaded part of GE's stake in Baker Hughes, bringing in cash and easing investors' liquidity concerns.

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