GE to freeze pension plans for about 20,000 U.S. workers to cut debt

REUTERS:

General Electric Co said on Monday it was freezing pension plans for about 20,000 U.S. employees with salaried benefits, as the industrial conglomerate makes another drastic move to cut debt and reduce its pension deficit by up to $8 billion.

Since taking over a year ago, Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp has carved out a number of measures to streamline the company and raise cash to pare debt. He has also chopped the company’s dividend to a penny.

GE and its finance arm had total borrowings of about $105.8 billion as of June 30, with industrial net debt at $54.4 billion.

The company said it will also freeze supplementary pension benefits for about 700 U.S. employees who became executives before 2011. GE’s pension plan has been closed to new entrants since 2012.

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