(Bloomberg) — Lockheed Martin Corp., builder of the Orion spacecraft that may one day take people to Mars, and its workers and retirees agreed to delay a trial over pensions by a day to see if the dispute can be settled out of court.

A U.S. judge granted the delay "so that the parties can determine whether the case can be resolved short of a full trial," Jennifer Allen, a spokeswoman for Bethesda, Maryland- based Lockheed, said today in an e-mail.

Lockheed is fighting claims its mismanagement of retirement benefit plans left workers with worse returns on company stock than investors who bought it on the open market. The workers accused the aerospace and defense contractor's in-house investment manager of charging them excessive fees and under- delivering on performance.

About 120,000 employees and retirees participate in Lockheed's retirement plans, which manage $26 billion of assets, said Jerome Schlichter, a lawyer for the workers. The company calls the plans "among the nation's largest and most complex."

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