GE to Freeze Canada Pension Plans

Mississauga, Ontario (STL.News) GE (NYSE: GE) announced Monday that as part of its continued actions to strengthen its financial position, it is freezing the accrual of pension benefits for approximately 800 employees in its non-union defined benefit pension plans in Canada, effective December 31, 2023.

Meredith Keenan, Vice President of Human Resources for GE Canada, said, “The changes to the Canada defined benefit pension offerings are difficult, but we remain committed to helping our employees prepare for retirement.  Our desire is to provide all our GE employees in Canada, across all businesses, with a consistent, valuable pension plan.”

The freeze does not impact GE retirees already collecting pension benefits or active employees covered by collective bargaining agreements.  Employees whose benefits will be frozen as of December 31, 2023, will not accrue additional pension service credit or make employee contributions to the current plans after that date.  With regulatory approval, starting in 2024, GE intends for all non-union pension eligible employees to transition to the DBplus offering under the CAAT Pension Plan, a multi-employer plan provided by one of Canada’s pension leaders which offers a lifetime monthly pension.

GE’s pension benefit obligation in Canada was approximately $2B CAD at the end of 2021.  GE has taken a series of actions in recent years to manage its global pension obligations and deficit, including freezing the U.S. GE Pension Plan (GEPP) and U.S. Supplementary Pension (SPP) for salaried participants and freezing the U.K. GE Pension Plans.