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  • Puppy_Play Puppy_Play Apr 17, 2001 3:36 PM Flag

    News about IBM Pension fight

    The following report just came out on NEWSWire/400:

    IBM AND EMPLOYEES RESUME PENSION FIGHT
    http://www.as400network.com/nwn/story.cfm?ID=9899
    IBM's annual shareholder meeting is set for April 24, and a group of IBM employees both past and present is preparing to square off with the company to settle an old score on employee benefits.

    At last year's meeting, shareholders shot down an employee-led resolution to let workers choose between the company's old pension plan and its new cash balance plan. However, 28 percent of shareholders sided with employees, enough to guarantee the resolution's encore at this year's meeting.

    IBM's old pension plan stipulated that retirees receive a guaranteed benefit based on years of service, salary, and so on. The cash balance plan, which IBM converted to in 1999, is similar to a 401k in that employees and IBM both contribute to a retirement account, the value of which fluctuates with interest rates, and retiring employees can either take all of the money in the account as a lump sum or receive a stipend based on the account balance. IBM Employee Benefits Action Committee members and other employees rights groups say that workers generally end up with a much smaller retirement nest egg under cash balance plans, while the company saves a bundle. IBM's new plan also reduces medical benefits during retirement. After the brouhaha following IBM's switch to the cash balance plan two years ago, the company backed down a bit and conceded that longtime employees -- those 40 or older with 10 or more years of service -- could choose between the old plan and the new.

    While IEBAC remains optimistic about this year's vote, the group doesn't expect to win over a much greater percentage of supporters than it had last year, says IBMer Jimmy Leas, who drafted the resolution. And even if IEBAC's resolution gets a majority vote, IBM can choose not to follow the recommendation of its shareholders. But no matter the outcome, the employees have no plans to give up. Krueger and others are still involved in a class action lawsuit against IBM, and employee groups plan to descend upon the site of this year's meeting in Savannah, Georgia, to walk the picket line and turn a spotlight on the issue. "We're hoping to get a bigger vote than we had last year," says IEBAC leader Janet Krueger. "We're going to have people there from all parts of the country. It should be interesting."
    -- Joanna Moore, NEWS/400 Industry Reporter
    Copyright 2001, AS400 Network
    http://www.as400network.com

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    • >>>Something that no one has touched on, but when your raise is calculated, it is calculated on your base salary (in other words,
      that 5 figure kicker (does that include the decimal point) isn't computed in). VPP is a good idea, but there are too many ways
      that the company plays with it to make it what it was originally meant to be (an incentive). <<<

      Since you are making such a big deal about this, I must assume that you feel that you are underpaid. I don't. We're not going to change each other's mind, so why don't we just move on?

      PS. It doesn't take a huge salary for a 15% kicker to be above $10k.

    • >>>Vet, Elvis and company consider anyone that does not fully agree with them to be union stooges (I have been accused of this
      even though I have stated that I do not support a union at IBM). When you debate topics with these, they will wander, to
      points that will support their position. They have a hard time facing the truth and admitting that IBMers got screwed. <<<

      And your gang hasn't been calling us IBMers "union busters"?

    • >>>Amen!

      Dump the pension plan all together and boost the match in TDSP.

      But until they do that, give all employees who were vested at the time of the
      change a choice of pension plans!<<<

      I could live with that. That would be the ultimate solution! But I'd want to cash out of my pension as well. So there would have to be a way for long time employees to opt out of the pension as well.

      The problem with the plan is that too many people will not like it because they want the security of that nipple to suck on.

    • Something that no one has touched on, but when your raise is calculated, it is calculated on your base salary (in other words, that 5 figure kicker (does that include the decimal point) isn't computed in). VPP is a good idea, but there are too many ways that the company plays with it to make it what it was originally meant to be (an incentive).

    • I agree.... The match on TSDP is poor based on it being used as a tool to compute FV of the retirement(new) plan. I do believe that the old plan was very good but the new plan allows much more flex when deciding future events. You are not hindered looking at the future since you can take your retirement with you. A GREAT DEAL!.. Match SHOULD be greater. All you old guys out there whinning about the old'n days,.... they are over.... get a life.

    • Vet, Elvis and company consider anyone that does not fully agree with them to be union stooges (I have been accused of this even though I have stated that I do not support a union at IBM). When you debate topics with these, they will wander, to points that will support their position. They have a hard time facing the truth and admitting that IBMers got screwed.

    • Amen!

      Dump the pension plan all together and boost the match in TDSP.

      But until they do that, give all employees who were vested at the time of the change a choice of pension plans!

      I'd love to do ALL of my own retirement planning. My TDSP and personal IRAs are going to carry me in my later years, not the pension plan (either one).

    • "Your salary plus variable pay is supposed to be competitive with the rest of the industry. Your base salary is supposed to be 10 to 15% less than what the marketplace deems "competitive"; if your division/IBM (it changes) makes the goals, then you get that 10% back. If you exceed you get a little more, and if you don't succeed then you lose a little."

      I can vouch that this is true; I have seen the salary planning grids and a "competitive" salary is base plus variable pay.

      So by this scheme, management ensures you never get more than a competitive salary (assuming the division goals are met) and you could get less (if goals are not met). What a system...

    • >>>In a previous message you said:

      "I receive a very competitive salary PLUS I've been getting a 5 figure "kicker". How can you be ignorant enough to assume
      how what I make compares to the marketplace? I sure wouldn't trade it for the 12%, or less, that I could have lost in the
      pension change."

      The emphasis on the word PLUS implies that you are bragging about the 5 figure kicker. YOU emphasised the word plus. I
      point out that even with the wonderful 5 figure kicker that you are so proud off, you are only competitive with the outside
      world, which is IBM's gain. So why emphasis that wonderful kicker (which is pay withheld throughout the year) if it just
      brings you to what everybody else is making?

      Variable pay is nothing to emphasize. Other companies just give you what's competitive, and give a real bonus if things are
      good. IBM holds out the carrot of the bonus, but also reserves the right to take some of the base pay away via the variable
      pay mechanism.<<<

      I guess I have to type slower for you too since you are having troubling following facts.

      I am paid a competitive salary each and every month. In ADDITION to that competitive salary, I receive a nice VPP check to share in profits when the company does well. If you don't feel that you are paid a full competitive salary, then that's something you need to discuss with you manager.

      I don't feel ripped off at all. In fact, I wish they'd bump our salariesand then quit the pension plan altogether. I would rather fend for myself. Other companies normally don't have a pension plan and a 401k plan both. They add more to the 401k match and forget the pension. I sure with IBM would follow suit!

    • In a previous message you said:

      "I receive a very competitive salary PLUS I've been getting a 5 figure "kicker". How can you be ignorant enough to assume how what I make compares to the marketplace? I sure wouldn't trade it for the 12%, or less, that I could have lost in the pension change."

      The emphasis on the word PLUS implies that you are bragging about the 5 figure kicker. YOU emphasised the word plus. I point out that even with the wonderful 5 figure kicker that you are so proud off, you are only competitive with the outside world, which is IBM's gain. So why emphasis that wonderful kicker (which is pay withheld throughout the year) if it just brings you to what everybody else is making?

      Variable pay is nothing to emphasize. Other companies just give you what's competitive, and give a real bonus if things are good. IBM holds out the carrot of the bonus, but also reserves the right to take some of the base pay away via the variable pay mechanism.

      Gee, nice folks. And we're supposed to be happy when we get the 10% that they withheld throughout the year. Oh yeah, and those targets keep moving throughout the year too - sometimes up, and sometimes down. It's not a level playing field either way. Ever notice that corporate headquarters always does well? What a suprise.

      I hope that you continue to remain happy with your "total compensation" as it dwindles. You deserve the theft that these people foist on you. And you think this is the greatest thing, and you are so worried about the non-existant union. Polish up your skills shill ..

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