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GM Doesn’t Foresee Required Pension Contributions

The automaker does not expect to have to make any pension contributions to meet minimum funding requirements in the next three to four years.

September 16, 2011
Related Topics: Benefit Design and Communication, Latest News
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General Motors Corp. does not expect to have to make any pension contributions to meet minimum funding requirements in the next three to four years, even though its funded status declined in the first nine months of 2008 because of negative investment returns and recent employee-related cutbacks, according to its third-quarter financial report Friday, November 7.

The GM hourly plan was $500 million underfunded as of September 30, the report said. The salaried plan was overfunded as of July 1, the latest date GM provided, which didn’t specify by how much. Both plans were overfunded on a combined basis, the report said. It didn’t disclose a recent total value of the plans.

As of December 31, GM’s U.S. pension plans had a combined $104 billion in assets and $85 billion in liabilities, according to its 10-K filing.

The company reported a $4.9 billion gain from terminating GM’s retiree health care plan for United Auto Workers members. That GM plan won’t exist after January 1, 2010, under an agreement moving UAW-represented employees into an independent voluntary employee benefit association fund.

That $4.9 billion gain was partially offset by a $1.7 billion loss that resulted from a combination of the following: GM’s elimination of its U.S. salaried retiree health care coverage effective in 2009, a cut valued at $2.8 billion, while raising U.S. salaried pension benefits, an increase valued at $2.6 billion, and also taking $1.9 billion in accelerated actuarial losses.

Julie Gibson, spokeswoman for Detroit-based GM, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Filed by Barry B. Burr of Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce

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