The news General Motors is downsizing its pension obligations is likely to inspire similar moves by other companies, experts say.

"This is going to set off a trend that sees a lot of the other jumbo plans explore this option more fully," says Ramy Tadros, partner and head of the Americas insurance practice at Oliver Wyman. "The key question is going to be around the capacity of the life insurance industry to bring enough capital into this to absorb those liabilities."

"The economic rationale for corporate America to get out of the pension business is pretty compelling," Tadros says. "We think this is going to set the scene for a lot of other corporate plan sponsors to ask the same question: 'If we're in the widget business, why do we have a big pension business that's not core for us.'"

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