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Pension Funds

GE to contribute $6 billion to main pension plan in 2018

General Electric Co., Boston, plans to contribute about $6 billion to its main defined benefit plan in 2018, according to an investor update on Monday.

GE anticipates this should fund the principal pension plan through 2020.

GE reported in its 10-K in February that it planned to contribute about $1.72 billion to the GE Pension Plan in 2017.

The company contributed $330 million to its pension plan in 2016, the filing said. It did not make any contributions to the plan in 2015.

As of Dec. 31, principal pension fund assets totaled $45.89 billion and benefit obligations, $71.5 billion, for a funded status of 64.2%, down from 66.5% in 2015. GE Pension Plan, along with the GE Supplementary Pension Plan, make up the principal pension plans. The supplementary plan is unfunded and had $6.53 billion in obligations at the end of 2016.

The asset allocation of GE's principal pension funds at the end of 2016 was 46.1% equity securities, 33.2% debt securities, 9.8% private equity, 7% real estate and 3.9% in other.

During the GE investor presentation on Monday, CEO John L. Flannery said the company was "going to take advantage of the rate environment … and borrow $6 billion and contribute that into our pension plan." He added that it will pre-fund cash contributions that GE is obligated to make to its pension plan for 2018, 2019 and 2020.