THE CHANGE: General Motors Co. will offer one-time buyouts to 42,000 U.S. white-collar retirees. For another 76,000, it will buy a group annuity that will make monthly payments to retirees.
THE SAVINGS: The moves will cut GM's pension obligation for those retirees from $36 billion to around $10 billion.
THE TREND: Taking that pension liability off its books puts GM on course with companies finding new ways to cut the risk and costs of their defined-benefit pension plans. GM wouldn't say whether moves are in the works for the much larger plan that covers about 400,000 blue-collar retirees and their spouses.