Ford Motor Co., which has a $15.4 billion unfunded pension liability, rejected offloading its retiree obligations as General Motors Co. is doing in favor of investing on global expansion, new models and paying dividends.

The second-largest U.S. automaker considered shifting its salaried pension plan to an outside company as GM is doing by purchasing an annuity with a Prudential Financial Inc. unit, Bob Shanks, Ford's chief financial officer, said yesterday. GM said it will spend $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion to purchase the group annuity and offer pension buyouts to 42,000 salaried retirees.

"That's a huge outlay," Shanks said in an interview in his office on the 11th floor of Ford's Dearborn, Michigan, headquarters. "When we look at our spending plans, look at our plans for dividends, look at our plans for pension contributions, when we think about our growth plans, product plans. As we do all that, we don't think we have excess cash."

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