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GE Freezes Pension Plan for 20,000 Employees

October 08, 2019 / Stephen Miller

General Electric Co. (GE) announced Oct. 7 that it is freezing new vesting in its defined benefit pension plan for about 20,000 current U.S. employees with salaried benefits, effective Jan. 1, 2020, as part of its effort to reduce its pension deficit by up to $8 billion. GE will offer a limited-time lump-sum payment option to about 100,000 former employees who have not yet started their monthly pension payments. GE also will freeze U.S. supplementary pension benefits for approximately 700 employees who became executives before 2011. There is no change for GE retirees already collecting pension benefits, the company said. The change does not affect union workers or nonunion production workers paid hourly wages. The company had allowed salaried workers to continue accruing traditional pension payments, although it closed its plan to new participants in 2012.