DETROIT (AP) — General Motors tumbled close to a 52-week low Monday as industry analysts questioned the company's plan to pay several billion dollars to unload part of its huge pension liability.

THE SPARK: GM announced on Friday that it will offer lump sums of cash to 42,000 white-collar retirees, if they stop taking monthly pension checks. For the rest of its 118,000 U.S. salaried retirees and spouses, GM will buy a group annuity that will make monthly payments starting in 2013. That would relieve the company of $26 billion in liabilities.

GM plans to pump $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion in cash into the pension fund. The pension fund will then spend $29 billion to buy the annuity from Prudential Insurance Co. Retirees will get their monthly checks from Prudential starting next year. Across the globe at the end of last year, GM had pension obligations of $134 billion but only $109 billion available to pay them, a $25 billion shortfall.

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