WILMINGTON, Del. — DuPont has offered pension buyouts or annuities to about 9,500 of its U.S. retirees.

The News Journal reports the company made the offer last week, just before it completed a nearly $150 billion merger with The Dow Chemical Co. The companies are now operating as DowDuPont.

Retirees can exchange their pensions for a lump-sum buyout or small monthly annuity. By accepting the offer, the former workers wouldn’t have to wait until they reach 62 to collect a traditional pension.

Getting some retired workers off the books could help close a pension gap that the newspaper reports exceeded $8 billion at the start of the year.

Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com