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August 16, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

GM Says Pension Bill May Be Cut: Under current accounting rules, the discount rate firms use to calculate the present value of their pension plan obligations must reflect interest rates on long-term, high-quality corporate bonds. Lower rates mean companies must assume they will have to contribute more because existing pension contributions will earn less. General Motors' estimate of its unfunded obligation rose to $22.3 billion at the end of 1993 from about $14 billion at that point in 1992. Interest rates have increased by about 145 basis points from the date GM makes its calculations, so that, if maintained, the higher interest rates would cut GM's reported unfunded pension liabilities at year-end 1994 by more than $7 billion, the firm said in a report to the SEC.

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