The numbers really stick out. In the report, it’s stated that GM’s pension obligation to UAW-represented workers in the United States was $71 billion at the end of 2011, the last time GM detailed its blue-collar pension obligation. That figure actually exceeds GM’s current market value by roughly $20 billion. The obligation is viewed by credit ratings agencies as debt and a concern to GM investors.
However, GM and the UAW also came to an understanding that the automaker needed to reduce the risk of its pension shortfall, though no details were given in the outline. Regardless, analysts predict that UAW retirees could voluntarily take lump-sum cash payments in exchange for giving up pension claims, though nobody will know for sure until negotiations commence, which again, is expected to happen in 2015.