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    GE pension freeze: 5 companies that also removed direct benefit plans

    Abstract:General Electric announced plans to freeze pension benefits for more than 20,000 employees on Monday.

      General Electric announced on Monday that more than 20,000 of the company's employees would see their pension benefits frozen as it moves to cut costs and reduce its mounting debt pile. GE is far from the first company to freeze pensions. US corporations have been increasingly transitioning employees from direct-benefit programs to traditional 401(k)s. Here are 5 other companies that have frozen pension plans in the past. Visit the Markets Insider homepage for more stories. General Electric froze pension benefits for thousands of employees on Monday, and it's far from the first company to do so. The industrial conglomerate joins a growing list of firms over the last decade that have grappled with swelling pension deficits. GE froze benefits for more than 20,000 employees in an effort to shrink its mounting debt pile. The company said it expects the effort to lower its pension deficit by $5-8 billion and reduce its net debt by $4-6 billion.Many other companies — including some of GE's competitors —have suspended pension plans in the past. Its important to note that several companies on the list transitioned employees from direct-benefit pensions to 401(K) plans, which are subject to market volatility. Direct-benefit programs include a specified payment amount for employees and the employer manages the plan. Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 11 stocks poised to surge by at least 50% within the next yearHere are 5 other companies that have frozen pensions plans in the past:

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