Firms are getting increasingly creative in the methods they use to cut costs and shift retirement responsibility to employees—maybe a bit too creative.
It seems IBM has attracted the ire of Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, both Democrats of Vermont (Sanders is actually a Socialist, but caucuses with Democrats). Essex Junction, Vt., happens to have a major IBM campus.
At issue is the business giant’s decision to match employee contributions to their 401(k) in a lump sum at the end of the year, rather than matching on a biweekly basis, which is now the norm. It means any employee who leaves will forgo the match for the entire last calendar year, even if they worked to, say, December.
The announcement caused an uproar, and employees enlisted the help of their unions and politicos. Sanders and Leahy wrote Ginny Rometty, chairman and CEO of IBM, a strongly worded letter in a direct appeal to reverse the new policy. A copy of the letter was then obtained by CWA Local 1701, the union representing IBM workers.
TechWire, a blog run by radio station WRAL in North Carolina, which also has an IBM presence in Charlotte, posted the letter, which the station notes is short and direct, in its entirety.
Here’s the letter, dated Feb. 25: