GE to freeze U.K. pension plans

FILE PHOTO: The General Electric logo is pictured on working helmets during a visit at the General Electric offshore wind turbine plant in Montoir-de-Bretagne

(Reuters) -General Electric Co said on Thursday it would freeze pension benefits for about 2,700 employees in the United Kingdom from January and take a related charge.

GE’s pension benefit obligation in the U.K. was about $14 billion at the end of 2020. The company’s pension plan has been closed to new entrants in the UK since September 2011.

“The affected employees will automatically be enrolled into GE’s existing defined contribution scheme,” the company said.

GE, which makes power plants and aircraft engines, is working to manage its pension obligation and reduce debt.

“Continuing to solidify GE’s financial position requires us to make difficult decisions,” the company’s Chief Human Resources Officer Kevin Cox said.

The company said it would record a non-cash curtailment charge in the second quarter of 2021.

(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)