It seems that anyone who hits age 65 who didn’t immediately withdraw their benefit from the Plan – doesn’t matter how, lump sum or annuity – gets shorted interest or an actuarial adjustment for the time that they leave their money in the Plan (while the Plan gets to use it to invest, make money, etc.). The suit says that’s illegal under ERISA and actually also contradicts the Plan’s terms, etc.
So if you reached age 65 and had previously stopped working for IBM and didn’t act right away to pull your money out, the time between the date you reached age 65 and whenever you got around to getting your money, you earned 0 interest. Seems it also applies if you were still working past the age of 65, except you get hit with the no-interest thing as soon as you terminate employment for as long as you delay taking your benefit.
That’s what happened apparently in the case of the plaintiff in the case, Richard Adams. He worked for IBM for 40 years. He retired at age 67 but didn’t draw his benefit for over 2 years in part because he believed that the Plan would continue to credit his account with interest. When he finally took his benefit at age 69 or so, he was shocked to learn it was the exact same amount as if he took it 2 years earlier.
The entry "PTO Bank", is market as "Yes" by IBM. In reality, last I saw when I worked there was a very limited accrual system for the amount of time worked, which is not banked, but set to zero at year's end. If you take 2 weeks of vacation the first few months you are there then quit or leave for any reason, you get docked for the vacation. There is no initial PTO Bank vacation amount.
In most other environments (govt, etc.) PTO is "banked" (like IBM used to do) and kept in a running total over the years until either the employee quits or takes the PTO.
The answer IBM gave is correct, but misleading. Seems like a case of BW incompetence from BW or collusion to hide the fact that the PTO Bank really has no inter-year accrual and is really not a true PTO Bank as most people would think of and use a PTO Bank.
This is yet another example of hiding a nasty surprise for unwitting new hires who won't find out the real policy until AFTER they been a calendar year at the pig.
Also, billable percentage targets are *not* adjusted downward for employees with additional earned vacation, long term employees with four or five weeks of vacation. All employees, regardless of how much vacation they're theoretically entitled to typically must bill 94% of 2080 hours per year. Do the math, and you'll see that there is no way an employee can actually take their earned vacation without working extraordinary amounts of overtime to make up. (And, of course, many projects won't allow consultants to bill over 44, or even 40 hours per week).
I gave up and got my own supplemental insurance, (I happened to go with Blue Cross), now my supplemental insurance is paying everything that Medicare doesn't cover. There may be circumstances where the supplemental won't pay everything, but I haven't run into that situation.
Do yourself a favor and dump IBM insurance for a good supplemental plan with a prescription option (Medco's annual cap of $3500 may impact you also).
I was under this plan for a while and I couldn't find anything that Medicare didn't cover that IBM did cover. So, one must ask the question: "Why have the IBM medical coverage?" The conclusion I came to was that it was a waste of money. After my wife and I both became Medicare recipients, we dropped the IBM medical and acquired private Medicare supplemental policies. Our private policies cover the other 20%, plus the Medicare deductibles, plus eye exams, plus health club cost. In other words all of our medical bills are covered 100%. Hearing problems, due to aging, and optional procedures are not included.
Now this discussion does not include Drugs. To the best of my knowledge the IBM Drug plan is still our best bet.
The cost of our private policies is $150 per month, EACH. We are both over 70 and in good health. Now you may say that that's a lot of money. You need to keep in mind that as you age your health conditions can take turns for the worse very quickly and bills can become astronomical. I think you can almost plan on having some big heath problem between the ages of 70 and 80. It is just a matter of time. To us, the peace of mind knowing things are taken care of is well worth the cost.
|$7,500||Retired in 1991 or earlier and not yet eligible for Medicare|
|$3,500||Retired in 1991 or earlier and eligible for Medicare|
|$7,000||Retired after 1991 and not yet eligible for Medicare|
|$3,500||Retired after 1991 eligible for Medicare (does not include dental costs)|
It was replaced with a 'bucket' script system known as the FHA (Future Health Account) which, if the employee retires more than a very few years before Medicare eligibility, will run out.
The full impact of the FHA was not known until now, when employees are retiring and finding out the parameters of the charges for health coverage from IBM.
I have long maintained that the lifetime Prescription Plan under the old retiree medical plan was worth its weight in gold. And it is, even given its caveats.
As more Second Choicers wander over to this board in their retirement stage, hopefully they will share how they are managing the FHA, also fondly called the Future Hell Account
Since I am single and on Medicare the premium is $75. In my case this is just fine.
Following all these discussions, it is clear that the IBM "subsidy" goes mostly to the employee and not his dependants.
I caution all of you/us who are getting up there in years to be concerned with the catastrophic protection you may need in the future. Having to spend 5-10 k a year is one thing. Having to shell out $200,000 or much more can wipe out the savings.
Until I was diagnosed with kidney failure, I was one of those who could easily predict my yearly medical expenditure fairly closely - now the sky is the limit!!!!
You will say to yourself isn't insurance supposed to have the largest risk pool possible so that the average costs are lower?
IBM has done everything possible to do just the opposite and segregate the overall IBM risk pool and have separated retirees from active as the first step; from there they separated by age and even location.
They did this is reduce the medical premiums for young employees and active ones as much as possible for retention and PR purposes for those doing the work now.
Remember the days when everyone was in the same risk pool including execs?
Again it shows that there is no limit for the greed of the current execs to get their stock options and bonuses up more using retirees as just one pool of opportunity.
This over incented culture of winner take all is epidemic to all of corp. America today and is the core reason we have so much social tension among the classes. Its the ME society not the WE society and you can see it in every aspect of our current culture............its not just an IBM exclusive but they certainly are helping to make it t worse with great vigor.
In my first note, I stated that I thought that the IBM drug plan seemed to be the best option going. Recently a person I worked with, a friend, and a fellow IBMer, who was 64, married, retired and looking forward to a long retired life, died of cancer after a 9mo illness. He had the IBM Option B plan with the $3500 drug cap and didn't feel he needed more, at the time he signed up for the plan in '06, because both he and his wife were pictures of heath (never a sick day), never smoked, exercised regularly, etc. Prior to his death, his drug bill exceeded $200,000. The family savings have been depleted and the family home is in jeopardy.
A sad story, but very true! My point in telling it is to ask the question - "Is a $3500 limit on drugs a viable option for persons in our age group?" The Medicare option "Part D" offers a much better solution for the "BIG" bill.
Of course, many mothers can't afford to scale down to part-time work – if they can even find it. But the mounting appeal of that arrangement highlights the extent to which today's conditions beleaguer working moms. Not only are they expected to meet corporate America's drive for productivity – and all the demands that entails – but they're also counted on to play a key role in their children's lives. All the while, some moms also may be caring for aging parents. [...]
But to critics, the most common methods of addressing employees' work-life balance – such as flexible working schedules, telecommuting, and (to a much lesser extent) job sharing – haven't filled the need. In some cases, they seem to have made matters worse. When some employees have tried to use such programs, some critics charge, they've been stigmatized as uncommitted workers, thereby heightening their frustration. [...]
For instance, just over a year ago, the international professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in New York launched Full Circle. The program is designed for PWC professionals who want to leave the workforce for up to five years to care for their children or parents. During this stint, program participants get annual training to keep their skills fresh. They also have a coach – a PWC employee – who keeps in touch with them while they are gone and helps them transition back to the firm when they are returning to work.
Gilbert added that while several federal courts within the jurisdiction of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have disagreed with Cooper, that the Cooper ruling was binding on him.
Wall Street led the charge, despite this summer's market jitters. Nearly half of the 45 new members made their fortunes in hedge funds and private equity. Money manager John Paulson joins the list after pocketing more than $1 billion short-selling subprime credit this summer. [...]
The youngest member of the Forbes 400 this year is 33-year-old John Arnold, a former Enron trader who now runs hedge fund Centaurus Energy and has amassed a $1.5 billion fortune. The oldest member of the list is potato king John Simplot, who is 98 years old and worth $3.6 billion.
John Edwards broke the issue of health care reform open in February, when he proposed a smart and serious plan for universal health insurance — and bravely announced his willingness to pay for the plan by letting some of the Bush tax cuts expire. Suddenly, universal health care went from being a distant progressive dream to something you could actually envision happening in the next administration.
Senator Clinton delayed a long time before coming out with her own plan — a delay that created a lot of anxiety among health care reformers, and may, as I’ll explain in a minute, be a bad omen for the future. Still, this week she did deliver a plan, and it’s as strong as the Edwards plan — because unless you get deep into the fine print, the Clinton plan basically is the Edwards plan. [...]
The Edwards and Clinton plans as well as the slightly weaker but similar Obama plan achieve universal-or-near-universal coverage through a well-thought-out combination of insurance regulation, subsidies and public-private competition. These plans may disappoint advocates of a cleaner, simpler single-payer system. But it’s hard to see how Medicare for all could get through Congress any time in the near future, whereas Edwards-type plans offer a reasonable second best that you can actually envision being enacted by a Democratic Congress and signed by a Democratic president just two years from now.
To get there, however, would require overcoming a lot more fear.
There won’t be a serious Republican alternative. The health care plans of the leading Republican candidates, such as they are, are the same old, same old: they principally rely on tax breaks that go mainly to the well-off, but will supposedly conjure up the magic of the market. As Ezra Klein of The American Prospect cruelly but accurately puts it: “The Republican vision is for a world in which the sick and dying get to deduct some of the cost of health insurance that they don’t have — and can’t get — on their taxes.”
But the G.O.P. nominee, whoever he is, won’t be trying to persuade the public of the merits of his own plan. Instead, he’ll try to scare the dwindling fraction of Americans who still have good health insurance by claiming that the Democrats will take it away.
The smear-and-fear campaign has already started. The Democratic plans all bear a strong resemblance to the health care plan that Mitt Romney signed into law as governor of Massachusetts, differing mainly in offering Americans additional choices. But that didn’t stop Mr. Romney from denouncing the Clinton plan as “European-style socialized medicine.” And Fred Thompson claims that the Clinton plan denies choice — which it actually offers in abundance — and relies on “punishment” instead.
"The huge number of people without health coverage over the past two years helps to explain why health care has become the top domestic issue in the 2008 presidential campaign," Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, said in a statement. "The expansion of health coverage in America is no longer simply a matter of altruism about other people but a matter of intense self-interest." [...]
Texas had the most people without insurance -- 45.7 percent of the non-elderly population.
The report found that more than 79 percent of those without insurance were in families in which at least one person had a job, 70.6 percent were themselves employed full-time, and 8.7 percent were employed part-time.
But Mayo, in a proposal hammered out over 18 months by a panel of more than 400 health policy experts, is not advocating a government-run single-payer system. Instead, it suggested that private insurance companies be required to offer standard plans with many options, like the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan available to government workers. Applicants for this insurance could not be turned down, under the Mayo plan.
Comment: By Don McCanne, MD. Many of the media reports celebrate the fact that premium increases for this year have declined to only 6.1 percent. Stop right there!
This year’s premium will be used as the basis for next year’s increase. This year it is 3.5 percentage points more than the rate of inflation. That greater-than-inflation increase will never be recovered, and will be added to next year’s increase, and to the increase in every year thereafter. Not only this year’s increase, but the greater-than-inflation increases of each prior year and of each future year are also added. In the past six years alone, the greater-than-inflation increase has been 61 percent.
Some would say that the increase in workers’ wages is a more appropriate comparison than the rate of inflation. For the past six years, the greater-than-wage percentage increase in premiums has been only 59 percent. Only?
Clinton aides said her plan would preserve a large role for private insurance companies; would promote the use of health information technology and low-cost generic drugs; and would create a public-private institute to evaluate and compare drugs, devices and medical treatments.
Mrs. Clinton will not try to impose an overall limit on national health spending, the aides said. But she is prepared once again to do battle with insurance companies, which she has said “spend tens of billions of dollars a year figuring out how not to cover people” and “how to cherry-pick the healthiest persons, and leave everyone else out in the cold.”
The front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination said that under her new plan, the federal government would spend $110 billion a year to help employers and individuals pay for insurance. About half of the money would come from repealing tax cuts and tax breaks for people with incomes above $250,000; the rest would be saved through efficiencies in the system, such as chronic disease management. [...]
Health policy experts said Clinton's plan is more centrist than the one 14 years ago because it builds on the current employer-based system. "This is designed to be less threatening to insurers," said Paul Ginsburg of the Center for Studying Health System Change.
Wal-Mart said it would give each employee or family that signs up for coverage a grant of $100 to $500 to defray health expenses while charging premiums as low as $5 a month. It will eliminate expensive hospital deductibles and make 2,400 generic drugs available to employees for $4 a prescription — about 2,000 more than it sells to customers at that price.
The plans with the lowest premiums would still charge annual deductibles as high as $2,000 — typical for American corporate health plans, but perhaps steep for Wal-Mart employees, many of whom work part time and earn less than $20,000 a year. And the company’s plans have other limitations, including waiting periods as long as a year for new employees.
The middle class is being priced out of healthcare. Virtually all of this year’s increase was among families with incomes above $50,000; in fact, two-thirds of the newly uncovered were in the above-$75,000 group. And full-time workers accounted for 56 percent of the increase, with their children making up much of the rest. [...]
Health reform built on private insurance isn’t working and can’t work; it costs too much and delivers too little. At present, bureaucracy consumes 31 percent of each healthcare dollar. The Connector - the new state agency created to broker coverage under the reform law - is adding another 4.5 percent to the already sky-high overhead charged by private insurers. Administrative costs at Blue Cross are nearly five times higher than Medicare’s and 11 times those in Canada’s single payer system. Single payer reform could save $7.7 billion annually on paperwork and insurance profits in Massachusetts, enough to cover all of the uninsured and to upgrade coverage for the rest of us.
Of course, single payer reform is anathema to the health insurance industry. But breaking their stranglehold on our health system and our politicians is the only way for health reform to get beyond square one.
Prepare, use the company as they've used you, and look forward to your new career without your schiesty manager(s). I'm loving life, rewarded for what I do, paid well, training is actually pushed on us (who would have thought, grow your own employee's, it's like IBM in the 90's, amazing).
Final thought ... IBM hurts it's American employee's in most cases than it helps, period, didn't used to be that way, used to be once you got onto IBM you were basically set. Now once you get into IBM you can basically plan on getting it up the rear at some point.
The 20th century proved that communism doesn’t work. The 21st will prove the same about globalism. In fact, globalism must be the most idiotic economic model that mankind ever flirted with. It borders on lunacy. No person in his/her right mind can believe that keeping the consumers here and moving the jobs abroad can work. This idea can only come from people who bend over backwards kissing the boots of their corporate overlords and making up any policy to please them and earn their miserable kickbacks. It’s troubling that most people still think left and right. There is no left and right anymore. Today it’s globalism against nationalism or economic lunacy against common sense. Which side are you on and how soon do you think you can start doing something to protect your country and your kids’ future? That is the question. Sorry for being philosophical. Reading about yet another round of layoffs begs the question where it all ends. Well, it won’t, unless we stop it. -Just me-
It has been reported that the "official" range for:
Bands 1-5 are non-exempt (overtime-eligible) while bands 6-10 are exempt. -Anonymous-
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC.
So what would you all tell a new grad who loves tech and wants to do consulting? Is this a dead-end industry, with US operations eventually becoming empty shells? Should I look more towards traditional strategy/management consulting? Or should I focus more on niche IT consulting firms? Thanks in advance for any insight/advice/opinions you can offer.
Going to a niche firm will accelerate your learning curve, but don’t expect to get a decent salary grade until year 4-5, unless you have a distinctive, marketable knowledge base already.
If you want to consult, you need to be an expert in a technology, have development experience, and project management skills. You can get those in industry, if you find the right company to work for, and the work-life balance will be much better. We have killed the entry – executive pipeline with all the offshoring that we do. We don’t hire best and brightest, because the entry level salary levels are weighted down by the offshore salary rates.
The best course of action is to get skilled up somewhere else, and then get a big bump moving into IT consulting when you have something to sell. That way you are not spending your formative years underpaid, under trained, and overworked for nothing. Even then, do NOT come to IBM - we have destroyed the resource model from entry level on up.
Unfortunately IBM and others are spooling the industry and devaluing the traditional technical work by moving it off-shore. The reduced salary rates and quality are trivialising this area in the mind of employers, and it seems to be a downward spiral. Those consultancies poised to do well IMHO are those that can offer a good technical solution with good business consulting/client facing skills - they can easily sell the cost benefit of an all-in-one solution to a client if they have the right motivation/rewards for doing so. This requires though building and maintaining the rapport with the client through superior service. The moment a client thinks all you are offering is a technical skill is the moment he looks for the off-shore/on-shore cheaper technical solution.
There a smaller/medium size consultancies (in OZ anyway) which continue to offer value across the full-spectrum because they've developed and hired well rounded consultants who can engage the client effectively whilst delivering a technical solution - something IBM is either reluctant to do, or lacks to imagination to do. I suspect it';s just easier for them to off-shore rather than innovate, whilst being lucrative for the lazier senior executives.
Today's highly compensated executives face many difficulties, including figuring out how they can possibly spend all of the rich rewards they've earned on the backs of ordinary workers. Take a look at the insider trading of many of our IBM executives—spending the cash from all that stock "acquired at $0 per share" must be a real challenge! Or, imagine the difficulty IBM CEO Sam Palmisano will face spending his $10,000 to $20,000 a day pension when he retires!
As a way of helping out our beleaguered, modern-day robber barons this site will periodically feature "spending opportunities" that the "upper crust" of our society may want to take advantage of!
Dubbed the ThinkPad Reserve Edition, the machine is clad in hand-stitched, ahem, saddle-grade premium French leather, no less. Each machine is individually numbered and comes with all-hours executive-class service and support.
This, Lenovo claimed, means users receive access to specially trained, dedicated support staff. So if you spill your Martini on it, they might just tell you how to best clean the leather without spoiling it. However, Lenovo didn't mention how documents will be retrieved if you accidentally wipe your hard drive or how to restore the display if you accidentally drop gold bullion on it.
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