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One-time payouts can reduce the “drag” that pension obligations have on a company’s balance sheet, as well as get rid of the extra premiums companies must pay to the PBGC if they’re underfunded. (Photo: iStock)

(Bloomberg) – Companies are free to tackle their hefty pension obligations through a controversial method involving one-time, lump-sum payouts to retirees and beneficiaries, the Treasury Department says.

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