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GM Retirees Take Lump Sum Buyout

GM's headquarters in Detroit
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GM's headquarters in Detroit

General Motors took another big step in its ongoing efforts to reduce the company's massive pension obligation.

Approximately 12,600 white collar retirees took a lump sum payout from the automaker in exchange for giving up monthly pension checks.

About 30 percent of GM's salaried retirees took the buyouts, allowing the company to cut roughly $29 billion from GM's $134 billion pension obligation. General Motors originally estimated the buyout program would cut its pension obligations by $26 billion.

CEO Dan Akerson has made reducing the automakers pension debt a primary mission since GM emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. He has made substantial progress cutting future payments by spending billions for buyouts. In early November, GM will transfer its pension program for those white collar retirees who did not take the buyout to the Prudential Insurance Company. Early this year, GM struck a deal where it will contribute between $3.5 and $4.5 billion to help fund the pension plan which Prudential will run in the future.

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