General Motors' hourly workers were big winners earlier this month when the automotive giant contributed 53.6 million shares of its Class H common stock to the $73.2 billion defined benefit plan.
At Tuesday's closing price of $98.88, the shares were worth $5.29 billion. GM contributed another 6.9 million shares of the stock to its VEBA health-care trust for hourly retirees.
The contributions were part of the Detroit-based auto giant's restructuring of its economic interest in Hughes, said spokeswoman Catherine Dunsby.
The contribution and the swap last month by GM investors of 86.4 million GM shares for 92 million Class H shares will reduce GM's stake in Hughes to 30% from 62%. The Class H stock is a non-asset based stock that tracks Hughes.
Only a small percentage of GM's pension plans have class H stock, Ms. Dunsby said.
She said GM made the contribution to strengthen the pension plan.
It had intended to contribute more but was restricted because of ERISA guidelines that do not allow a company to have more than 10% of its defined benefit plan invested in the company stock.