General Motors has taken another big step towards correcting one of its last big financial headaches, contributing 60.6 million shares of common stock into its chronically underfunded pension program.
Worth over $2 billion, the stock has been added onto a $4 billion cash contribution the automaker made last month. Nonetheless, that still leaves $21.4 billion more that GM must ultimately come up with the cover its pension liabilities.
Immediately prior to the cash contribution, the maker owed $17.1 billion to its U.S. salaried and hourly workers’ pension programs and another $10.1 billion to its various overseas programs.
Those figures actually might shrink on their own. They reflect the decline in value of various assets in the pension program portfolios that were slammed by the recession. As those assets regain some of their value the shortfall could shrink substantially.