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Lockheed reduces pension woes by nearly $5 billion, forecasts hit to profit on actuarial changes

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Lockheed Martin's logo is seen during Japan Aerospace 2016 air show in Tokyo
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(Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp said on Tuesday it would cut its pension liabilities by about $4.9 billion and revised down its forecast for the full-year due to actuarial losses it expects to incur.

The U.S. weapons maker has purchased group annuity contracts from Athene Holding Ltd and will transfer pension obligations and related plan assets for about 18,000 U.S. retirees and beneficiaries to the retirement services provider.

Lockheed will take a non-cash charge related to actuarial losses of about $1.7 billion in the third quarter.

The company now expects full-year earnings of $21.95 to $22.25 per share, down from its prior forecast of $26.70 to $27.00.

The contracts were purchased using assets from Lockheed's master retirement trust and no additional funding was used, said the company.

There will be no changes to the benefits received by retirees and beneficiaries, Lockheed said.

(Reporting by Shreyasee Raj in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)