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Labor Department tentatively approves AT&T pension-funding plan

The Department of Labor has tentatively signed off on AT&T's (T) plan to address a pension shortfall by contributing $9.5B worth of newly-created preferred stock in its wireless unit.

AT&T originally announced the plan last year to a very mixed reception. UBS previously estimated the contribution could save AT&T $3B/year in tax payments.

The Labor Department's proposal has been opened to public comment. If fully approved, it would retroactively go into effect as of Sep. 1.

AT&T's pension fund assets were worth an estimated $45.1B, less than obligations of $58.9B.

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