A federal judge has approved a settlement worth just over $40 million between General Electric and retirees (pdf) over the company’s decision to put up GE stock as an investment and matching contribution in its retirement program. Retirees contended the investment of company stock was not economically prudent and that their retirement benefits suffered as a result, Northern District of New York Judge Gary L. Sharpe noted.

Notices of the class action were sent to more than 318,000 potential members. A settlement was reached after discussions mediated by Daniel B. Weinstein, a retired California state court judge. About $10 million of the settlement will go to payments, of up to $5,000 each, for retirees who claimed they were damaged financially by GE’s investment. GE also agreed to make another $30 million in “structural changes” to the retirement plan.

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