GM slates $6 billion pension contribution

General Motors Co., Detroit, will contribute at least $4 billion in cash and $2 billion in GM common stock to the company’s $85.9 billion U.S. hourly and salaried pension plans, the company announced Thursday.

The company also repaid $2.8 billion to the $44.4 billion UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, Ann Arbor, Mich., according to a news release from the automaker. The UAW fund is a voluntary employee beneficiary association for members of the United Auto Workers.

Eric Henry, chief investment officer of the UAW plan, could not be reached for comment.

GM also announced that it will repurchase $2.1 billion in Series A stock issued under the Troubled Asset Relief Program if the company succeeds in the closing of its IPO of GM common stock. The repayment puts the total that taxpayers will have received at $9.5 billion from GM through repayments, interest and dividends since GM emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 2009.

The contributions are part of a larger plan by GM to reduce its overall leverage by $11 billion, according to the news release.

It will reduce the company’s net interest cost and preferred dividends by $500 million per year, Daniel Ammann, GM vice president of finance and treasurer, said in the news release.

Neither GM spokeswomen Noreen Pratscher nor Julie Gibson could be reached for comment.