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Press Release

GE Aims to Freeze U.K. Pension Plans

January 19, 2021

BOSTON, Mass. — January 19, 2021 — GE (NYSE:GE) announced today that as part of its continued actions to solidify its financial position, it is proposing to freeze the accrual of pension benefits for approximately 2,800 employees in its defined benefit pension plans in the United Kingdom. A 60-day consultation process with plan members will begin in February. 

If implemented, the proposals would impact all members of the GE Pension Plan and the GEAPS (2006 Section) in the U.K. and come into effect January 1, 2022. Affected employees would be automatically enrolled into GE’s existing defined contribution scheme, and the company is proposing a temporary increase to the default 10-percent employer contribution by 2 percent for the first two years. There would be no change for GE retirees already collecting pension benefits, and no change to existing benefits accrued by active members through December 31, 2021. 

GE Chief Human Resources Officer Kevin Cox said, “The proposed changes to our U.K. defined benefit pension offerings are difficult but necessary as we continue our work to accelerate GE's transformation. We are actively managing GE’s pension obligation by considering market trends and employee impact while thoughtfully balancing our company priority to solidify our financial position.”

GE’s pension benefit obligation in the U.K. was approximately $14 billion at the end of 2020, and the proposals would further GE’s objectives of actively managing pension costs and risks. GE has taken a series of actions in recent years to manage its pension obligation and deficit on multiple fronts, including by freezing the U.S. GE Pension Plan (GEPP) and U.S. Supplementary Pension (SPP) for salaried participants and offering a limited one-time lump sum payout to eligible former employees. 

In addition, in December, GE voluntarily pre-funded its estimated minimum ERISA GE Pension Plan funding requirements for 2021, 2022, and into 2023 to help support meeting commitments to employees in the future. GE also transferred some U.S. GE Pension Plan obligations by purchasing group annuity contracts from Athene. The GE Pension Plan has been closed to new entrants since September 2011.

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains forward-looking statements – that is, statements related to future events that by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain.  For details on the uncertainties that may cause our actual future results to be materially different than those expressed in our forward-looking statements, see, as well as our annual report on Form 10-K and other SEC reports. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.  

About GE
GE (NYSE:GE) rises to the challenge of building a world that works. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry, and today the company’s dedicated team, leading technology, and global reach and capabilities help the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. GE’s people are diverse and dedicated, operating with the highest level of integrity and focus to fulfill GE’s mission and deliver for its customers.

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