General Motors Corp., New York, contributed $5.5 billion to its $67 billion pension plans in September and another $8 billion in early October, bringing its year-to-date contributions to $14.4 billion, CEO John Devine said in a news release on GM's third-quarter earnings. The two contributions came from the sale of bonds and convertible securities announced in the summer.
As a result of the contributions, GM expects 2003 pre-tax pension expense will be $2.6 billion, down from an earlier estimate of $2.8 billion. The company expects pre-tax pension expense to decline by at least $500 million to $2.1 billion or less in 2004, although it will be largely offset by higher interest expense related to recent global debt offerings.
Through the end of the third quarter, GM's pension plan assets earned a return of 14%.