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Highway bill saves General Electric $2.5B in pension contributions


STAMFORD, Conn.—General Electric Co., Stamford, Conn., will reduce its pension contributions by a total of $2.5 billion in 2012 and 2013, the company announced during its second-quarter earnings call Friday.

The reduction is due to changes in pension funding requirements contained in the highway bill that was signed by President Barack Obama on July 6.

GE now expects total pension contributions of $400 million in 2012 and $100 million in 2013. Keith Sherin, vice chairman and chief financial officer, said during the call that the company originally planned to contribute $1 billion in 2012 and $2 billion in 2013.

The fair value of the company's defined benefit assets was $42.1 billion as of Dec. 31, down from $44.8 billion a year earlier.

Timothy Pollard is a reporter for Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Business Insurance.