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IBM will save millions starting next year - and perhaps start a trend - as it shifts to...

IBM will save millions starting next year - and perhaps start a trend - as it shifts to contributing to employee 401(k) accounts just once a year, Dec. 31. Those who leave the company before Dec. 15 will not qualify for a match. For employees - besides being induced not to leave the company mid-year - the move dilutes the dollar-cost-averaging power of contributions. Expect the government to have its say on the change.
Comments (25)
  • bbro
    , contributor
    Comments (9621) | Send Message
     
    What happens if they are laid off in October?
    7 Dec 2012, 07:25 AM Reply Like
  • Rigid
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Good point bbro! My guess is the employees will be out of luck.
    I'd also bet that other companies will quick to get on this train, timing their layoffs accordingly.

     

    Think of the other possibilities. A giant ax to coerce concessions from employees for the "big payout" at the end of the year
    7 Dec 2012, 07:51 AM Reply Like
  • DNIBOC
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    Simple, no match, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.
    7 Dec 2012, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • bwf
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    dilutes the dollar cost averaging power? you think? this is a bad sign for employees everywhere if this becomes a trend.
    7 Dec 2012, 07:52 AM Reply Like
  • dancing diva
    , contributor
    Comments (2539) | Send Message
     
    This is wrong on so many levels. Once again a corporation is trying to save money on the backs of its employees. First they move from defined pensions to contributions. Now this? IBM is highly profitable, it's not as if they are in danger of failing.

     

    How about saving money by reining in executive compensation instead?

     

    Ordinarily I'm against the Federal gov't coming between a company and its labor except for reasons of safety, but a move like this should be challenged before even other companies go the same route. This is the same as a company wide reduction in salaries.
    7 Dec 2012, 08:00 AM Reply Like
  • idkmybffjill
    , contributor
    Comments (1639) | Send Message
     
    "Ordinarily I'm against the Federal gov't coming between a company and its labor except for reasons of safety, but a move like this should be challenged before even other companies go the same route. This is the same as a company wide reduction in salaries."

     

    I agree. Now, what is the incentive to not lay people off before mid-December? Wow.
    7 Dec 2012, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • dancing diva
    , contributor
    Comments (2539) | Send Message
     
    You agree; my husband doesn't. Correctly he says that ultimately a corporation is only responsible to their shareholders. I see his point, but still have problems with their move.

     

    It will be interesting to see whether the work ethic of IBM employees suffer as a result. It would serve the shortsighted and tightfisted company right if they lose good people and there's a general slowdown in productivity as a result. I know if I was an IBM employee I'll feel a bit less loyalty to my employer.
    7 Dec 2012, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • barno
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Agreed with Dancing Diva. And add in a failing social security system that likely won't be there for our children, this does not bode well for the US living standards going forward, or our childrens ability to retire.

     

    This should not be allowed.
    7 Dec 2012, 08:25 AM Reply Like
  • idkmybffjill
    , contributor
    Comments (1639) | Send Message
     
    So what do all the people who think the "free markets" are always the best solution for people think of this? Great idea huh? Where are GaltMachine and the usual suspects....
    7 Dec 2012, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • DNIBOC
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    IBM views this as good business, and in terms of the bottom line, and their 2015 Roadmap, they see it as necessary. They do not care about how it looks, or the impact it has on the employee. This is just one of many 'cost cutting' actions they have taken over the last 5-10 years, so employees especially US based, are not surprised. Trust me IBM gave up on the US employee long ago. They are International Business Machines, not United States Business Machines They wrote the book on outsourcing, and this is just another chapter. Anyone, especially our president, who views IBM as a great American company, needs to wake up! They have no desire to keep jobs in the US because cost's outweigh quality every time.
    7 Dec 2012, 09:01 AM Reply Like
  • bigjohn13760
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    I worked and retired from IBM (1997). They were once a great company and the employees had a fantastic work ethic because of this. IBM is now the poster child for exporting jobs to BRIC, Vietnam, Mexico, etc. laying off US workers in the process. They have been doing this for years. Benefits have been cut for current employees and retirees over the years too. When my manager from a large defense contractor (I went back to work, am now retired from that firm) retired he went back on IBM benefits for retirees to accommodate his wife. He was paying then $1500 PER MONTH to IBM for the two of them and this was not the best plan!! Greed is rampant among the upper echelon of IBM, period.
    7 Dec 2012, 09:01 AM Reply Like
  • king420
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    As a current employee, this is what we refer to as the "nickel and dime" approach that IBM takes year after year to whittle away at employee benefits. What they have not recognized is that, instead of the usual flow of people in and out of the organization throughout the year, they may be faced with an unusually large exodus of people at the end of the year that they will have difficulty replacing.
    7 Dec 2012, 09:06 AM Reply Like
  • DNIBOC
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    king,....I too am a employee and we've all thought this, but the exodus will be forced, not voluntary. Personally, I and most others want to work, so we keep taking it and taking it. For many who have 25+ years, looking elsewhere is really not an option. They have us by the short hairs and they know it. We all know that these actions have an impact on service and the customer, but so far it has not been enough to change the strategy.
    7 Dec 2012, 09:13 AM Reply Like
  • doneright
    , contributor
    Comments (89) | Send Message
     
    When IBM put in place their plans for 401k plans they were smitten with pride as a leader in the industry. They would attrack and retain the brightest and the best. It was such a powerful message. Look again now, they are smitten with pride as they start to take it away. (Once a year is the first stop to no stop) . PS: The bible guy had it right! Job 1:21
    7 Dec 2012, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • Rickthegeek
    , contributor
    Comments (118) | Send Message
     
    And, without being noticed (IBM) hits it's death cross 2 days ago and virtually goes unnoticed. 50DayMA daily, moved down across 200DayMA daily, for the 1st time since October of 2008. This is the same thing that Apple (AAPL) is just days away from.
    7 Dec 2012, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • scottik.dude@gmail.com
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    IBM'er here, too, and embarrassed. Nickel and dimed is exactly it.
    It's not something big enough that would likely drive you away from the
    company, but just incredibly cheap and insulting, like the Grinch taking away that last crumb at Christmas. Looks like they're getting increasingly desperate on how to keep growing profitabililty with revenue that's not growing.
    7 Dec 2012, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • idkmybffjill
    , contributor
    Comments (1639) | Send Message
     
    But see over time, it's the "little things" that are cheap and insulting that really make employees disheartened and unhappy....and tend to have the biggest effect on their overall performance.
    7 Dec 2012, 11:55 AM Reply Like
  • 100million
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
     
    Actually this is something that would drive you away from the company (as an employee). Years of negligible (or no) pay increases, no bonuses, and now no 401k match which is essentially the last straw. What is the employee incentive anymore? I have my own work ethic and I will continue to do a job and do it well....but my mind is now focused only on opportunities outside the company.
    8 Dec 2012, 09:30 AM Reply Like
  • bigjohn13760
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    By the way, IBM was "born" in Endicott, NY. IBM sold all of their holdings in Endicott about 10 years ago. Does this tell you anything about the current management?? How many other large corporations sold their birthplace?? I would be interested to know.
    7 Dec 2012, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • JohntheOld
    , contributor
    Comments (174) | Send Message
     
    I guess that when I laughed at the interviewer when I applied for IBM that it was not a bad thing. Couldn't help it.... thank you lord.
    7 Dec 2012, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • Dividends For The Long Haul
    , contributor
    Comments (174) | Send Message
     
    I have to say, that while I don't agree with the policy I believe that IBM certainly has and should have the right to do something like this. Matching 401k contributions is not an obligation that corporations have. Instead it is a perceived benefit that many offer to their employees. Some employers already follow similar practices. For instance the company that I work for does not match contributions at all, but rather makes a one time annual contribution to employee accounts based upon a percentage of their salary.

     

    While it may not be right, this is the way things are likely to go across the board. Further and further from defined benefit pensions toward employees being 100% accountable for saving for their own retirements. In these times it becomes more and more important to educate the younger working individuals on the importance of not waiting to save. Time is their greatest asset, as who knows what companies and the government will be contributing to individual's retirement in 10, 20, or 50 years.
    7 Dec 2012, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • dnspade
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    As a stockholder, it disturbs me that it seems like there is more effort on creating additional cost savings to hit the 2015 roadmap than creating new, innovative quality products and services.

     

    I have no doubt they will pull all the levers to hit the 2015 roadmap, but it will fall over like a cheap movie set and we will see nothing left in the shell. By that time, it may be too late.
    7 Dec 2012, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • bigjohn13760
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Any young person that stays with IBM very long is nuts. Get a bullet on your resume and leave. The company is so perverted by the bottom line forthe execs it is pitiful. The customer used to be king for IBM (that is how they could charge more than others). No more. The bottom line for the execs is what matters. Obviously the investment community does not realize this. Many "advisors" still put forth IBM as a good investment. WROONNGG!. It is not going to last, period. By the way, IBM workers in foreign countries have a much different work ethic than US employees. To them IBM is a stepping stone on their resumes. I have friends that still work for IBM that interface with these people so I know this is true. There is not loyalty among foreign IBM workers.
    8 Dec 2012, 01:55 AM Reply Like
  • bsmi5111
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Let's face it, those that want to leave will be better off.

     

    If the time to be fully vested is pushed out 3-5 years, that would really hurt most people more.
    8 Dec 2012, 02:20 AM Reply Like
  • bigjohn13760
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    dnspade you are absolutely correct. There was several articles published on the web regarding IBM a month or so ago. The writer called IBM a financial engineering company. One article was called "Not Your Father's IBM". Apparently doing mostly things to pump up the bottom line and not very much technical innovation anymore.
    10 Dec 2012, 01:52 PM Reply Like
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