"The option to choose between plans is being extended to employees who, as of June 30th of this year, were at least 40 years of age and have 10 years of IBM service. We believe this is an appropriate and generous transition program. Everyone else will remain in the cash balance plan, which many have told us is the right plan for them.
If you now have a choice to make about the plans, you'll receive more detailed information as fast as we can pull it together. You will receive financial information and tools so that you can compare the prior plan and the new plan. This disclosure will help you make an informed decision. It will take about a month to get these materials to you.
This change will have a cost to IBM, but it's too early to tell how much. That will depend on which plan people choose. But the main point is, we've more than doubled -- from 30,000 to 65,000 -- the number of IBMers who now have a choice.
With this adjustment, we are confident that the pension system meets the needs of our U.S. colleagues. It's now time for all of us to turn our full attention to the considerable challenges that face our business. We need every IBMer to focus on what's most important -- the marketplace -- on beating our competitors and meeting the needs of our customers.
Tom Bouchard Senior Vice President, Human Resources"