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U.S. Companies Get Green Light on Controversial Pension Payouts

  • Treasury blesses one-time lump sum payments to retirees
  • Relief for companies with underfunded defined benefit plans

Companies are free to tackle their hefty pension obligations through a controversial method involving one-time, lump-sum payouts to retirees and beneficiaries, the Treasury Department says.

That could help companies like General Electric Co., now struggling with a nearly $30 billion shortfall in its defined-benefit pension plan.