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GM pension underfunding up 15.4% in 12 months

GM
The 2012 Buick Regal

General Motors Co.'s underfunding of its worldwide pension plans increased to $24 billion as of June 30, down slightly from $24.5 billion on March 31 but up 15.4% from $20.8 billion a year earlier, according to a webcast presentation for its second-quarter earnings result Thursday by executives of the Detroit-based carmaker.

GM's U.S. pension plans were underfunded by $12.8 billion as of June 30, down slightly from $12.9 billion March 31 but 18.5% higher than the $10.8 billion the previous June 30.

Its non-U.S. pension plans were underfunded by $11.2 billion as of June 30, $11.6 billion March 31, and up from $10 billion the previous June 30.

The presentation gave no pension plan asset values. As of last Dec. 31, GM's U.S. plans had $94.3 billion in assets and its non-U.S. plans, $14.5 billion.

In the webcast, Daniel F. Akerson, GM's chairman and CEO, did not provide an update on the lump-sum and annuitization plan offered to U.S. salaried retirees, except to say that all eligible participants have made a selection and will complete their transactions by the end of the year.

On June 1, GM said it will reduce its expected pension obligation by $26 billion by offering a lump-sum payment to 42,000 retirees in its U.S. salaried pension plan and will purchase a group annuity contract from Prudential Insurance, which will pay and administer benefit payments to another 76,000 U.S. salaried retirees.