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

National/World

FILE – In this May 18, 2017, file photo, a robotic arm with a high-intensity blowtorch is remotely operated to test ceramic matrix composites, which make engines more durable, heat-resistant and efficient, at the General Electric Aviation plant in Evendale, Ohio. General Electric Co. said Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, that it will freeze its pension plan for about 20,700 salaried workers as part of its debt-cutting plan. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric is freezing the pension plans for about 20,000 workers and offering pension buyouts to 100,000 former employees as it attempts to slash debt.

The Boston company said Monday that its actions would trim its pension deficit about $5 billion to $8 billion, and net debt by about $4 billion to $6 billion.

The industrial conglomerate has been selling off assets and streamlining its operations amid sagging profits and other negative developments in recent years and clearing debt has become a priority for CEO Larry Culp.

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

Shares of General Electric Co. rose slightly in premarket trading.

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