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August 11, 2001 August 4, 2001 July 28, 2001 July 21, 2001 July 14, 2001 July 7, 2001 June 30, 2001 June 23, 2001 June 16, 2001 June 9, 2001 June 2, 2001 May 26, 2001 May 19, 2001 May 12, 2001 May 5, 2001 2001 Stock Meeting April 21, 2001 April 14, 2001 April 7, 2001 March 31, 2001 March 24, 2001 March 17, 2001 March 10, 2001 March 3, 2001 February 24, 2001 February 17, 2001 February 10, 2001 February 3, 2001 January 27, 2001 January 20, 2001 January 13, 2001 January 6, 2001 December 30, 2000 December 23, 2000 December 16, 2000 December 9, 2000 December 2, 2000 November 24, 2000 November 17, 2000 November 10, 2000 November 4, 2000 October 28, 2000 October 21, 2000 October 14, 2000 October 7, 2000 September 30, 2000 September 23, 2000 September 16, 2000 September 9, 2000 September 2, 2000 August 26, 2000 August 19, 2000 August 12, 2000 July 29, 2000 July 22, 2000 July 15, 2000 July 1, 2000 June 24, 2000 June 17, 2000 June 10, 2000 June 3, 2000 May 27, 2000 May 20, 2000 May 13, 2000 May 6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—May 9, 2015

  • BusinessWire:

    Zamansky LLC Investigates IBM’s 401(k) Plus Plan For Possible ERISA Violations. Excerpts: Zamansky LLC announces that it has commenced an investigation of International Business Machine Inc.’s 401(k) Plus Plan (the “Plan”) for possible violations of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). ERISA imposes fiduciary duties to prudently manage and invest plan assets. These duties were potentially violated by IBM’s continued offering of its company stock while it allegedly knew that the stock price was artificially inflated.

    On April 1, 2015, a class action lawsuit was filed against IBM in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 15 CV 2492, alleging securities fraud. The Complaint alleges that from January 22, through October 17, 2014, IBM over-valued and made material misrepresentations to investors about its Microelectronics business which designs and produces microchips. IBM sought to sell its microelectronics which it certified was worth $2.4 billion when it knew that its Microelectronics business had lost $700 million the year before, expected losses in 2014 and was not worth anywhere near this amount. ...

    If you are an existing or former IBM employee who purchased or held IBM stock through the 401(k) Plus Plan, please contact our firm for an evaluation of your rights. You can contact Jake Zamansky by telephone at (212) 742-1414 or by email at jake@zamansky.com.

  • Analyst Rating:

    IBM Executives are Making Moves with Their Shares. Excerpts: Today, the Senior Vice President of IBM, Colleen Arnold, sold stocks of IBM for $990.2k.
  • Dubuque Herald-Tribune:

    IBM might reduce footprint in Roshek Building. Recent layoffs cause the computer giant to consider subleasing 2 of its 5 Roshek Building floors. By Jeff Montgomery. Excerpts: Following recent declines to the Dubuque workforce, IBM officials are considering subleasing two of the five floors the company occupies in the Roshek Building.

    "As part of IBM's ongoing efforts to optimize our worldwide facilities, we are consolidating operations in the Roshek Building and are looking at various space-utilization options, including the possible subleasing of two floors of that building," IBM spokesman Clint Roswell wrote in an email to TH Media. ...

    Rick Dickinson, president and CEO of Greater Dubuque Development Corp. and member of the Dubuque Initiatives board of directors, said a recent drop in the company's employment figures prompted IBM to explore alternatives for the fifth and seventh floors.

    However, this should not be construed as a sign that more layoffs are on the way or that IBM is planning to cut its ties with Dubuque, he said. ...

    Company leaders informed workers of a "permanent mass layoff event" on Jan. 28, cutting 202 employees at the Dubuque facility. CBRE Group, a commercial brokerage firm representing IBM, contacted Dubuque Initiatives two months after the layoffs were announced and raised the possibility of subleasing space, Dickinson said.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Dickinson said. "IBM has no intent of walking away from any commitments."

      Since when did IBM meet any of the conditions especially the condition that they employ 1400?

      And since when did IBM hire tricky dicky to be their spokesman?

      It has never been a question of if IBM would leave Dubuque; it has always been only a matter of when.

    • IBM never actually attained the required number of employees to trigger the massive tax relief they received.

      IBM'S history is relocate, get a lot of tax breaks, then move again to receive tax breaks from another city. If you think not ask the people of Raleigh, North Carolina.

    • Mr. Dickinsen made the exact same comment on other businesses leaving. The odds are in his favor to be right, sooner or later. If Dubuque gets many more empty buildings maybe the saying "Will the last person to leave shut the lights off" may happen under the current regime.
    • Lesson to be learned: State suspends IBM incentives after layoffs
  • CNW: A PR Newswire Company:

    IBM Canada Ltd. Voted Canada's Most Attractive Employer. Excerpts: The votes have been tallied and IBM Canada Ltd. has been named Canada's Most Attractive Employer, taking home this year's coveted Randstad Award. Randstad Canada, the country's leading staffing, recruitment and HR services company, awarded IBM with the sought after title of Canada's Most Attractive Employer at the Randstad Award ceremony held at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. The world's largest IT and consulting services company was selected as part of an independent survey of 9,516 workers and job seekers between the ages of 18 – 65. One hundred and fifty-two of Canada's largest companies were ranked, and IBM was voted number one in salary & employee benefits, career progression opportunities, training and long-term security. ...

    "Throughout our 100-plus year history as a technology company, IBM's most important innovation has remained the 'IBMer'. We see employee engagement as key to both the success of IBM's brand and our ability to remain essential to our clients," says Dino Trevisani, president of IBM Canada. "We value and respect diversity, and as we continue to reinvent ourselves, we recognize the importance of staying true to our core values and culture of inclusion." ...

    About Randstad Canada: Randstad Canada is the Canadian leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services. As the only fully integrated staffing company in the country, we understand the recruitment needs and demands of employers and job seekers across all levels and industries. Through our insightful knowledge of local markets, employment trends and global network of recruitment experts, we are shaping the Canadian world of work. Visit randstad.ca

  • Forbes:

    Three Reasons Apple Should Acquire IBM. By Peter Cohan. Excerpts: Could a growing company that makes most of its money selling to individuals in China breathe life into a shrinking giant that sells to enterprises? If the acquirer is Apple and the target is IBM, the answer is maybe. And there are three reasons that such an improbable merger might make sense. ...

    (Apple CEO Tim) Cook worked at IBM from 1982 to 1994. Cook rose up the ranks at IBM and in his last job there he was “North American Fulfillment director, managing manufacturing and distribution functions for IBM’s Personal Computer Company in both North and Latin America,” according to Biography.com.

    In July 2014, IBM and Apple partnered “to deliver Apple technology to big business,” according to the Wall Street Journal. IBM has since developed software for Apple’s iOS operating system, but it has been unclear how important the relationship is to either company’s bottom line. ...

    IBM’s market capitalization is currently $171 billion. Let’s assume that Buffett would be willing to part with his shares for a 20% control premium — meaning that IBM might cost Apple $205 billion.

    For now, Apple’s market capitalization is $743 billion — and it could borrow more money if it decided to use debt to help finance that $205 billion purchase. But it would take 28% of Apple stock to buy IBM at that price. ...

    Ultimately, such a deal would only make sense if Apple could figure out how to turn IBM into a company that grows fast by selling products that businesses want to own. On the other hand, perhaps this is an execution challenge that is beyond the ability of any human being to master.

  • ZD-Net:

    What happens when IT companies are allowed to be ageist? Switzerland's IT skills shortage is only going to get worse - thanks to discrimination against older IT professionals, a lack of training, disinterest among younger workers, and increasing immigration restrictions. Sound familiar? By Roger Laing. Excerpts: 'Too old to hire, too young to retire' sums up the position of many of the older IT professionals in Switzerland.

    Those in the 55-64 age group are 50 percent more likely to be out of work than people in other industries and to have been out of work for longer, according to a recent survey by the ICT Vocational Training association.

    The end result is that only nine percent of Swiss IT professionals currently in work are older than 55 (outnumbered even by another under-represented group - women, who make up only 12 percent of the Swiss IT workforce).

    Being older, they're at least the bosses, aren't they? Well, no. The study found that only eight percent of management jobs were held by over 55s. Almost half of older IT workers were developers and analysts (accounting for around seven percent of people in those roles) and they occupied 12 percent of network administrators posts.

  • From April 25th's highlights,

    Dubuque Telegraph Herald:

    Grassley challenging IBM on jobs. The senator asks the corporation why it is laying off Iowans while seeking to hire foreign guest workers. By Jeff Montgomery. Excerpt: U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is requesting details from IBM regarding the company's use of guest workers from foreign countries, emphasizing that this information is particularly important at a time when layoffs of American workers are ongoing.
  • From May 2nd's highlights:

    IBM's Response to Senator Grassley's inquiry:

    View full letter in PDF format. Excerpts: Dear Senator Grassley, I am responding to your letter dated April 16, 2015 to IBM Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty regarding the use of H1-B visas. IBM appreciates the opportunity to reaffirm our full commitment to meeting the letter and spirit of the H1-B program and other immigration and employment obligations.
  • Alliance@IBM's Grassley-IBM-letter-Comments. Selected comments from this week follow:
    • Comment 05/01/15:

      I used to work in Southbury (CT). In the 2014 round of layoffs, some of the people laid off had to train foreign workers to take over their jobs! How does IBM have the gall to say they need H1-B visa holders to fill needed positions, when in fact those positions are vacant because they fired (i.e., "laid off" without any possibility of re-hire) a US worker?!? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 05/01/15:

      IBM lies. There is no skills shortage. I am over 50 years old and have a masters in chemical engineering as well as a masters in computer science and my career spans over 28 years. I have worked at IBM, Oracle, Teradata, and other big IT companies and program in databases, SQL, C++, Java, and other technologies. I was RA'd in Feb due to my age and higher position of band level 8 plus higher salary. IBM replaced me with a worker who was much younger and made much less. There is rampant discrimination against older workers at IBM due to being a USA citizens, as well as an older worker. IBM is using the "skills shortage" excuse to eliminate USA citizen jobs, as well as replace older experienced (i.e. costlier) workers with cheaper labor, whether it's from India or China is even better. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 05/02/15:

      Headline: IBM exec uncharacteristically refers to resources as "employees" and "talent". -Anonymous-
    • Comment 05/02/15:

      There were no H-1B or other temporary visa holders at IBM's Dubuque site at the time of our workforce changes and the center is not currently staffed with foreign visa holders. They can only say this because they don't directly hire H-1B's at Dubuque - they bring them in as contractors. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 05/04/15:

      As an ex-IBM employee from the Thomas Watson era I think the answer is evasive and a disgrace. As far as I can learn, if it helped its bottom line, IBM would have no US employees except the executives who have run the company into the ground. BTW I worked at corporate headquarters in Armonk and knew the "pre-Gerstner" executives and they would never have let this happen. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 05/04/15:

      That letter is so deceiving. First, for most IBMers that are RIF'd, retraining to the new technologies would be relatively inexpensive. Second, there are 10,000, to whatever you know the number is, retired IBMers that have that skill set needed, including me. I might need an update on the internal IBM technologies, but the training would be no more than that of a new hire. Those foreign new hires can not compete with my knowledge of IBM, the IBM business culture, or the English language. The issue: I'm older. THAT is where it is at—they do a full life cycle analysis, with faulty assumptions, and come up with the wrong conclusion regarding cost and aggregate product delivery features and quality, and customer satisfaction. (That is, if they do a business analysis at all.) -Anonymous-
    • Comment 05/04/15:

      It is interesting that a LOT of positions that were eliminated from Dubuque show up in IBM Centers in India. So IBM's policy apparently is to get as many H-1B's into the country as possible and TRY to use the GR center's to shore up and fill in positions over the short term. The thing that gets me is the skill levels they are bringing in really don't SEEM to [IMHO] match up very well against what IBM has flushed away like a soiled tissue. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 05/04/15:

      I'm amazed at several of the blatant misleading statements and outright lies in that public response. Many of the good Senator's questions were framed nationally, but where convenient, they applied Dubuque specific answers. The RA's in February in the US included many personnel in analytics, software, cloud development and infrastructure support plus large numbers of IT project leaders/managers. No doubt there's a shortage when you cut those skills from within IBM.

      I had to laugh at the "intensive cloud training." If you consider a 2012 PowerPoint overview intensive training, it's no wonder IBM lags in that market segment. The 2014 training for cloud was all conceptual overviews harping on the various terms and buzzwords with no technical value included. -Anonymous-

    • Comment 05/05/15:

      Lies and more lies. Once again, IBM executive branch hides behind generalities because there is no data to support their statements — too many of us trained our replacements, teaching them the skills we had, and English. Once upon a time I wondered when our government would step up and stand up to the corporate shenanigans — now I wonder how many of our 'representatives' are an integral part of the problem as well. Kudos to the senator for asking the questions — here's hoping the response to the response is a firm spanking and making IBM executives accountable for their decisions. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 05/05/15:

      IBM is walking a very fine line in their job postings. They don't want to pay for experienced Americans and they don't want to justify why they're not hiring thousands of new grads for all those fake openings they trying to fill with H1B's. Why else would an executive in HR tell me that a recent Masters grad with degrees in Computer Science & Mathematics can't get an interview. (Masters from Oxford; BS from public ivy in 3 years with technical double majors; QPA of 3.95; #1 in class.) Guess what, he's now working for the competition. -Anon2-
    • Comment 05/05/15:

      I would fall under the category of IT Project Leaders or Managers let go in 2013. I was excellent in producing results using IBM's offshore GR resources as documenting in my PBCs over the years. only 2 and 2+. This is after many skilled co-workers such as developers and testers around me were being RA'ed and replaced by offshore workers.

      I was skilled in social media and cloud before it became an issue in IBM whereby they scammed employees with pay 10% cut to train. Tools I managed had social media requirements in the pipeline. I doubt they do anymore due to lack of leadership now.

      I used to consult the Smart Cloud teams in leveraging our core technology and business process into their offering. They wanted to recruit me to work on cloud up until the day I was added to RA list. At that time nobody in that area would talk to me. That was now since failed Smart Cloud Enterprise product. Thanks Karma. -Anonymous-

    • Comment 05/06/15:

      "Compensation is based on credentials, experience, position and skills, not on a person's country of origin." Why is the Global Delivery Landed rate much cheaper than onshore in the pricing tool then? -ExIBM-
  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “ISC project manager”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM full-time. Pros: Looks good on your resume. Cons: Lack of respect for employee; no growth opportunity. Advice to Management: Time to value your greatest resource—the people
    • “SALES”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Work from home, good colleagues, work rewarding. Cons: IBMers are aggressive and bordering on rude with limited respect to others; not sufficient staff so the workload is incredible requiring working over 60 hours a week to stay afloat. Management is not to be trusted. Salary is not competitive and retention strategies are not employed. Advice to Management: Listen to your staff and reduce the layoffs because the ones who remain suffer with extremely large workloads. Also look at employee compensation as it is below average.
    • “Worst company to work in Australia”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee.

      Pros: Working from home and some latest technical insight about the future trends.

      Cons: Very unsettling environment and employees are treated as numbers not as humans. No teamwork in the company; everyone is trying to cover their back side. Management trying to brainwash employees with unrealistic market figures all the time saying that they are at front, but they actually loose money because they get rid of their valuable employees and the rest keep working with additional work and stresses throughout.

      Advice to Management: Learn to stand on your foot rather than following advice from top management without even been able to question it.

    • “Great career opportunities, great people, but has too many levels of management”

      Current Employee — Staff Software Engineer in Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years).

      Pros: Always working with smart, motivated people. The size of the company means there is a wide range of projects in different technologies and there is flexibility to move between projects. Flexible work environment that is understanding of times you may need to work from home. Opportunity to work with people across the globe. Management embraces diversity.

      Cons: Raises are small so salaries fall way behind the current job market. Excessive number of meetings that can consume entire days, so the only time to get actual work done is off hours. Senior management is too far removed from the actually development. Too many levels of management.

    • “Not your father's IBM”

      Former Employee — Software Developer I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Large company with diverse human and financial assets.

      Cons: They don't value employee satisfaction.

      Advice to Management: Benefits have eroded year after year for the past 17 years. IBM took away the traditional pension plan, and replaced it with an "enhanced" 401k. The enhanced 401k does not come anywhere close to the benefits of the pension. Fix this. Fix the ridiculous insurance benefits. Every year, IBM removes drugs from its formulary, leaving employees without medication, or with medication that they can't afford. In short...work elsewhere if you have any choice.

    • “After 24 years was rated a low performer and let go”

      Former Employee — Delivery Project Executive in Poughkeepsie, NY. I worked at IBM full-time. Pros: Once was the place everyone wanted to work at. Cons: long hours, travel, inconsistent rating structure, in order to generate revenue they lay off people twice a year Advice to Management: Grow a spine and stand up for your employees.
    • “Humans?!? Never heard of em.”

      Current Employee — Automation Engineer in Brno (Czech Republic). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year).

      Pros: You have a lot of freedom to decide where and when you want to work.

      Cons:

      • Hard work is not appreciated
      • Management doesn't care about the people, only the numbers count.
      • Stupid decisions are made by executives, not based on logic, but lobbying and politics.
      • Many efforts are useless and management is often not capable of handling the people.
      • Impossible to get a raise.
      • Many people are leaving the company after one or two years, thereby lots of information is not transferred properly or gets lost completely.
      • Below average pay rates
    • Advice to Management: No advice, this company is doomed.

    • “I”

      Former Employee — Failure Analysis in East Fishkill, NY. I worked at IBM (less than a year) Pros: They have great benefits, there are many various job positions, and everyone is professional. Cons: There are not any cons. Advice to Management: Class act.
    • “Grindhouse”

      Current Employee — Senior Consultant in Washington, DC. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros:

      • Three week vacation
      • Client facing
      • Opportunities to be placed in high responsibility positions once senior leads leave the projects they've ruined

      Cons:

      • Poor management
      • Poor skill development
      • Poor work/life balance
      • Poor compensation compared to competitors

      Advice to Management:

      • More focus on existing employees
      • Pay to retain talent
    • “Not My Father's IBM”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Huge supply of talented persons, typically very dedicated. Opportunity to work world-wide. Probably a great place for entry level jobs for those with skills in newly emerging technologies. Cons: Unfortunately, IBM will drop you like a hot potato, regardless of skills or performance, if they need to cut expenditures. It takes them forever to make major decisions, and the executives responsible for large failed projects rarely seem to get the ax — it's all the workers below who tend to suffer. Advice to Management: Stop playing political games and instead strive for the core principles outlined by the company — and not as lip service.
    • “Didn't like it.”

      Former Employee — Worker in New York, NY I worked at IBM (more than 3 years). Pros: The salary was probably the best part about working at IBM. Also the start-in wage was decent. Good place to work if you are looking to make a lot of money. Cons: Too many hours. You would work well over 60 hours a week. Also, the company demands a lot out of you. Advice to Management: Not so many hours
    • “Not a bad place for technology”

      Former Employee — Infrastructure Architect in Cambridge, MA. I worked at IBM full-time (more than a year). Pros: Great place if you are in R&D, good place if you are working on internal projects, not that great in Global Services. Good place to get patents and build a good resume. Cons: It seems IBM is trying to reinvent itself again, and I'm not sure current direction (chasing AWS etc) is best. Constant RAs/layoffs do not support morale. Work force is dramatically shifting from US to Asia. Advice to Management: Stick to innovation rather than chasing competitors when you are late to market.
    • “Director, Business Line Executive”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Research Triangle Park, NC. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: IBM has a long technology history and is still one of the broadest tech companies on the planet. So there are opportunities to change careers without changing who pays your salary. Cons: Since IBM was slow to shift strategies while the industry was transforming, a lot of extreme expense cuts were put in place to satisfy Wall Street expectations of short term financials. Advice to Management: Focus on customers first, employee morale second, and long term financial returns not short term.
    • “Stifling”

      Current Employee — Senior Manager in Littleton, MA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros: Have to respect the history. Company knows how to adapt to changing market conditions.

      Cons: For a company that at one time would "never layoff" they have become quite insensitive. Demoralizing decent performers through "relative evaluations" and lack of opportunities and compensation.

      Company has failed to deal with commoditization. Their answer is to get out rather than differentiate. Bleeding will continue until the company adjusts to lower margins.

      Advice to Management: Stop moving execs around and start promoting internally. The process of bringing others in who haven't earned local business success is demoralizing.

    • “Caveat Emptor”

      Current Employee — Product Manager in Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 8 years).

      Pros: Some flexibility in schedule. Work from home supported in some cases.

      Cons: Severe disconnect between employees and executives/management. Competing agendas amongst executives and constant shifting of personnel/agendas at upper levels keep those who actually provide products and services (employees) spinning their wheels. Company unprepared for brain drain, seems to actually encourage it through layoffs / "cost-savings" / "restructuring."

      Advice to Management: We're not a stock price. We're a technology solutions company. Or we used to be. When we dump an "unprofitable" business such as System x, we lose our foot in the door with many customers to sell other products and open the door for competitors to gain a foothold.

    • “Associate Partner”

      Former Employee — Associate Partner. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Colleagues and client work are what keeps people going. There is an ongoing ability to learn when you have time. Cons: Short-term thinking leads the pack. Constant bench clearing initiatives means you can get stuck on "bad fit" projects or worse.
    • “Contracting at IBM”

      Former Contractor — Project Manager in Fishkill, NY. I worked at IBM as a contractor (more than 3 years).

      Pros: You can work remotely. The people you work with are generally nice. Even though the company is very large, it is so large that local teams tend to operate with a small company feel so collaboration and teamwork are common.

      Cons: IBM may furlough you or cancel the contract with little or no notice. Also, IBM pays below market rate. The company is so large that business units are siloed and more concerned with their own agendas and budgets than corporate initiatives.

      Advice to Management: Pay more attention to the FACT that your employees are human beings and NOT chattel to be treated with disregard for the impact corporate staffing whims have on them.

    • “Sales Director”

      Former Employee — Sales Director in Reston, VA. Pros: Good benefits. Cutting edge technology. Fast paced. Cons: 90% of the people are great. The other 10% are corporate vipers. Not a healthy environment. Not your father's/mother's IBM of 30 years back. The management can be brutal. Unrealistic expectations. Advice to Management: Treat your employees like you would like to be treated.
    • “Long Term Employee”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee I have been working at IBM full-time (More than 10 years).

      Pros: Diverse jobs, extensive amount of resources by brand, industry. Excellent thought leadership. Very strong commitment to advancing broad complex topics in the world. Very smart, collaborative and talented people. Working through transformation which is a challenge in the marketplace for all large mature companies. The right investments are being made but need to be made faster

      Cons: Executive top heavy. Not as focused on treating their employees well any more. Complex organization and capabilities is both a curse and blessing.

      Advice to Management: Management is worried about their employees being "engaged". They should treat their employees at the bottom better. We say we want people to sell strategically but we measure our people to perform tactically. Need to continue to refine measurements to remove the siloed nature of the business. GBS metrics are a constraint to the business with utilization being such a firm metric. We can't keep the good people. Makes it hard for the rest of us to do our job.

    • “Great technology, politics to the hilt, great benefits”

      Former Employee — Consulting IT Specialist. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 8 years).

      Pros: Top notch technology coupled with very knowledgeable people; politics was rampant in Information Management, particularly "DB2 bigots" (and nothing wrong with loving DB2, but there were many whose attitude was "DB2 or nothing" despite IBM buying out some top notch database technologies). Great benefits such as full medical, dental, and vision, as well as broad fund options for the 401K with an employer match.

      Cons: No matter how loyal you are as an IBM employee, watch your back since (at least from my perspective) you may be laid off at any time.

      Advice to Management: Never "mandate" that a first-level manager lay off an employee; sell off unprofitable (or very low profit) businesses first; if necessary, interview layoff candidates; also, don't just accept one manager's view of an employee — FIGHT for your employees by getting multiple (at least three) managerial perspectives, and VALUE those employees who have multiple years of tenure and can PROVE (e.g. document) the value they provide.

    • “Big Blue is Awesome!”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: It's a dream job and I am very proud to work for IBM. The pay is not as competitive as CA but at least we have rain here. Cons: The hours though. You can't work enough hours to get all the work done. My job requires a lot of travel which isn't a con necessarily. Advice to Management: Please get assistants to help with the directors. There's not enough time in the day to do the work you demand of us!
    • “IBM was a great experience!”

      Former Contractor — Business Analyst in Waltham, MA. I worked at IBM as a contractor (more than a year). Pros: Learned new applications and met a plethora of new and exciting people. Cons: I wish my project was longer than one year and having to leave all the wonderful people on the development and integration teams. Advice to Management: Thanks for all your support and giving me the opportunity to work at such a great company.
    • “IT Architect”

      Former Employee — IT Architect in Chicago, IL. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Work/life flexibility. Prestigious company. Good co-workers. Cons: Unethical handling of employees. Minimal raises and decreasing benefits. Lack of strategy in some lines of business. Advice to Management: Communicate strategy to employees.
  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert. This week's topics include:
    • Senate Passes Budget that Cuts $5.3 Trillion
    • American Postal Workers Union’s National Day of Action is Thursday
    • National Women’s Health Week Targets Coronary Artery Disease
    • Medicare Turns 50: The Promise of Modern Medicine
New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 05/01/15:

    More RAs coming to IBM Australia, next round is in June. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 05/02/15:

    In response to -Anon-: "Can anyone please point me to someplace that I can validate that the 1 year bridge will get me the FHA?"

    Personal Pension Account (PPA) and Future Health Account (FHA) are treated differently. A retirement bridge enables you to access PPA early but not necessarily the FHA. You have to be 55 on your last date of PAID employment at IBM to get FHA funds.

    In determining your last date of PAID employment, you cannot add the retirement bridge period to your last day at IBM. You have to already be 55 on the day you stop getting a salary from IBM. In your case, even if you bridge, you will be younger than 55 when you stop being an active employee of IBM as a result of your job elimination. Therefore, you are not eligible to get the FHA. Find another job or sign up for Obamacare. -Sibelius-

  • Comment 05/03/15:

    Average IBM retention (length-employee-stays) was just over 4.6 yrs and slowly dipping when last I saw formal figures. This cuts both ways, of course — the "IBM Lifer" is now exceedingly rare or nonexistent, **and** the corporation no longer weights benefits/retention/treatment as it once did, because, statistically, the employee will leave soon after getting the bonus/stock/training no matter what. Classic chicken-and-egg. -SimpleMath-
  • Comment 05/03/15:

    IBM doesn't care about revenues. Just profits. That means continued RAs to turn profits. Also, IBM doesn't care if it fails going forward; it has Warren Buffett's ego, never ending H1B visas and offshoring, and the USA government to bail them out as "too big to fail". -Anonymous-
  • Comment 05/03/15:

    IBM Dubuque closed 5th floor last week. The center feels like a ghost town with only 600 employees left in a center designed for 1300. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 05/03/15:

    Today in the mail I received About Your Benefits, IBM Personal Pension Plan - Prior Plan, Summary Plan Description, Document Number USHR113. I'd never received USHR113 before, but before retiring I had saved a copy each year for several years.

    Wondering why I received a copy this year, I looked at copies I'd previously saved up through 2009. Section 1.11.4 Amendments has changed. A new sentence in the first paragraph states:

    "Further, IBM reserves the right to have the Plan purchase one or more nontransferable annuity contracts to provide your benefit under the plan."

    A new paragraph has been added that states in part:

    "If the Plan is terminated in full... Any Plan assets remaining ... will be returned to IBM."

    There might be other changes. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 05/04/15:

    With all the IBM broken promises (to Dubuque and Columbia) and lies they are spewing about not enough USA skilled workers to fulfill business needs, I happy we got one more member to join! Where is everyone else, why do we have to wait to the next RA to add members? Anyone reading this and has not joined, especially if you are in those sites heavily affected by the February RAs, what are you waiting for? -still62-
  • Comment 05/04/15:

    -Sibelius- IBM used to, and I stress used to, offer the five year and then one year bridges to retirement so those who got the bridge (essentially an unpaid leave of absence) would come back to IBM after the bridge for one day of employment, sign retirement papers, and then get full retirement benefits. That is long over and done just like RESPECT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL.

    If IBMers would like to turn back the clock and have the real bridge to retirement for all who have 25+ years of service you have to join the Alliance and make it part of the contract. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 05/04/15:

    I spoke to a young systems analyst over the weekend who works for a small company in the Raleigh area. He moved here recently and landed this job pretty quickly. He said he mentioned to his co-workers that he might put an application in at IBM. All of them advised him not to, stating that IBM just uses people up and then tosses them. Seems like the young talented people here are in touch with what is going on. Also spoke to a woman in my neighborhood who has worked with IBM mainframes at another large company here for many years in a purchasing / managerial position. She told me that IBM is just not the company it used to be. It seems like the IBM image is being transformed, but that's about all. -longtimebeemer-
  • Comment 05/04/15:

    http://fortune.com/2015/05/04/digital-native-employers-bias/ This is the latest way employers mask age bias, lawyers say. Employers no longer list “new grad” as a requirement in ads, but instead, employers are recruiting for “digital natives.” Here’s why that may be a problem.
    “The term ‘digital natives’ makes me cringe,” said Ingrid Fredeen, an attorney and vice president of NAVEX Global, which provides ethics and compliance programs to large organizations. “This is a very risky area because we’re using the term that has connotations associated with it that are very age-based. It’s kind of a loaded term.” Posting a job ad calling for “digital natives,” she added, is “really challenging and problematic” because it implies that “only young applicants need to apply.”
  • Comment 05/05/15:

    Dear Anonymous regarding your posting on May 3rd: "IBM Personal Pension Plan Summary Plan Description", my document number references USHR108, dated January 1, 2015. I also could not recall receiving this specific document before, and like you immediately focused on "Amendments" 1.10.7.

    In fact, what I found very odd was that the "About Your Benefits Post Employment Summary Plan Description" effective January 1st 2014 did not address pensions at all. I may have missed it, as it is over 100 pages. But if I didn't miss it, obviously it was intentionally omitted.

    I would think IBM will probably announce something of this magnitude at year end to get that stock moving as we all cringe. Wait till Bob Cringely gets a hold of that announcement! Clearly, the IBM Executive Management Team is running out of levers.

    Per the information gleaned here in this very supportive Alliance forum by our fellow IBMers and fellow IBM Contractors, the 3Q RA list has been or is in the process of being finalized. Though there are probably further 2Q RAs coming...and we all know there will be 4Q RAs.

    I cannot emphasize enough IBM family ... we would be in the dark about all of these horrific actions by the IBM Executive Management Team were it not for the tireless relentless efforts of the Alliance. Please consider joining. Respectfully, -Deb Kelly Proud Alliance@IBM member-

  • Comment 05/05/15:

    To "Anon" and others who got the "About Your Benefits, IBM Personal Pension Plan" mailing. You're exactly on point to pick up on the wording that provides for moving to annuities/closing the plan. If you noticed, the plan is currently slightly over-funded. If interest rates/returns move enough to make that "excess" interesting, you can count on what happens next (and it won't be to give retirees a raise). -Anon-
  • Comment 05/05/15:

    -longtimebeemer- It's true that IBM's image has been transforming or has transformed as you say. Only older retiree types tend to view IBM as the old Big Blue. Middle aged and younger don't view IBM as a premier company. A recent college grad told me they applied for IBM "just for the heck of it" but want to work for Apple to start. They all know it is INTERNATIONAL Business Machines and it is not really a true USA-based corporation and the justified bad press IBM is getting is really hitting home. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 05/05/15:

    "If the Plan is terminated in full... Any Plan assets remaining ... will be returned to IBM." And the present plan asset surplus is as part and parcel called vapor profits that IBM can and does report to the bottom line. It is pension money but remains in IBM's hands until it is paid out as an annuity or lump sum. Read Ellen Schultz's "Retirement Heist" if you want to know what might and could and has happened to pensions sponsored by corporations. -da-facts-
  • Comment 05/05/15:

    What IBM has caused itself is that it is making itself increasing unappealing to professionals with the hot skills they want. So IBM uses this fact to say they can't find enough of qualified USA resources to fill the skills they need. IBM has made their bed; now they have to sleep in it. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 05/05/15:

    6/30 off payroll date for folks in our GTS group who had been extended from the 1/27 RA is now advanced to 5/29. New "business needs" cited. Yeah 12 quarters of revenue loss. Naturally 6/30 was my 15 years of service date and my retiree medical is now out the window. How thoughtful and decent of them. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 05/05/15:

    People who were told 6/30/15 was last day are now being informed the date has been moved up to 5/29/15 GTS -Anonymous-
  • Comment 05/06/15:

    After upgrading to the new 'SmartCloud' (I thought IBM wasn't using that name any more due to the failures associated with it?) Notes email, and updating the Notes Traveler app on the smartphone, the status indicator says "Connected to server via Google Cloud Messaging." Uh, gee IBM, don't want to eat your own dog food, and using Google's cloud infrastructure? -ShipGoingDown-
  • Comment 05/06/15:

    -GTS- so these folks lose a month's salary due to "business needs early RA"? Not fair at all, but this is Big Blow we all have come to know. So can we insinuate 2nd QTR 2015 is not going well? -Anonymous-
  • Comment 05/06/15:

    For those in GTS and for those that might lose their FHA eligibility due to the "early departure" change: Why not go out on Medical Leave now. Say you mentally can't deal with this news. Or say you have an existing health condition it has now gotten worse. IBM can't legally fire you when you are on disability. Sure you will be RA'd when you are off disability but then you get your FHA and/or more salary, up to 6 months worth, through IBM Short Term Disability. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 05/06/15:

    The keep saying the org is going to get flatter, but the number of layers of management keeps increasing. It used to be about seven layers including CEO. Now it is eight or nine, including three layers of VPs and up to three layers of "directors." Most third-line and above managers only have 3-5 reports, while managers at the bottom might have 15-20. The system is becoming all overhead and no worker bees. -Tall and Flat-
  • Comment 05/06/15:

    I don't know about other new hires but IBM has treated me pretty well my first two years of working there. Learning a lot, promotions and bonuses. STG -anonymous-
  • Comment 05/07/15:

    "Comment 05/05/15: Once you are RAed and are terminated by IBM how many get re-employed later on if they re-apply? -Anonymous-"

    I don't have actual numbers but from my observations/experiences during my 36 years with IBM ... the numbers are very small. Most of those I know who returned to IBM, after being separated, returned as contractors through a contract agency (e.g. CTG). A few returned as Supplemental employees and even fewer returned as Regular employees (aka IBM Retreads). -DJA-

  • Comment 05/08/15:

    People who were told 6/30/15 was last day are now being informed the date has been moved up to 5/29/15 GTS Brazil. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 05/08/15:

    In response to -Anonymous-: For those in GTS and for those that might lose their FHA eligibility due to the "early departure" change: Why not go out on Medical Leave now. Say you mentally can't deal with this news. Or say you have an existing health condition it has now gotten worse. IBM can't legally fire you when you are on disability."

    The above will work ONLY if you commence your disability leave BEFORE you are informed you will be terminated or before you are given any kind of bad appraisal. Going on a disability leave AFTER you were informed of termination or after you were given a bad appraisal will NOT protect you from being terminated. Nor will it enable you to delay your termination date.

    So, yes, if you are only a few months from FHA eligibility and fear you may be fired even though you are not on a PIP or were not given a bad appraisal, consider taking the disability leave now to bridge the gap. Note that you will earn only a fraction of your monthly salary while on disability. So even though you may eventually get the FHA, you may or may not come out ahead. -BedRidden-

IBM Retiree Issues Message Board

  • Comment 03/01/15:

    First, let me say I have read through the comments but didn't find what I'm looking for. Here is my question, I plan to retire soon, I am over 65. 1) Do I have to use FHA only for Medicare costs? 2) Can I use the FHA to pay for supplemental insurance to Medicare? 3) Can I use FHA to pay for both? Thanks. -nlretiringsoon-
  • Comment 03/02/15:

    To -nlretiringsoon- Since you have an FHA as an IBM employee and you are over Medicare-eligible age, when you leave IBM your FHA balance will be transferred by IBM to OneExchange as an HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangement). You will be able to use the HRA funds for quite a number of qualified medical expenses, including premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

    Premium expenses: HRA funds can be applied toward medical, prescription drug, dental, vision, Medicare Part B, and long-term care premium expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses: HRA funds can be applied to eligible out-of-pocket expenses include copayments, deductibles and coinsurance payments.

    Your specific questions:

    1. No, you are not limited to Medicare costs when using HRA (from FHA).
    2. Yes, you can use HRA (from FHA) to pay for Medicare supplemental insurance (i.e. Medigap) plan.
    3. Yes, you can use HRA (from FHA) to pay for both.

    For details, check out link "HRA: How it works" on website at "https://medicare.oneexchange.com/ibm". Also check out IBM document USHR117 "About Your Benefits - Future Health Account" Jan 1, 2014 that can be found on the Fidelity Netbenefits website "https://nb.fidelity.com/public/nb/default/home". -Paul Bergeron-

  • Comment 03/05/15:

    I am 58 years old and have 10 years of service. I left IBM in 1994. I am in the prior plan. Does this mean that I have PRP funds, and if so when can I get the money and How do I calculate its amount. -Deborah Morris-
  • Comment 03/06/15:

    To -Deborah Morris- I would call the IBM Employee Services Center at 800-796-9876 to get your questions answered in detail. You might also have access to the Fidelity NetBenefits (NB) website (at https://nb.fidelity.com/public/nb/default/home) where this information might be available online, if you can register at that website. That NB website also has document USHR113 (About Your Benefits IBM Personal Pension Plan - Prior Plan) in the "Library" which has a discussion of this and other topics.

    Since everyone's situation details are different, it is hard to know exactly which provisions apply to your case. From my reading of the relevant documents

    Since you worked for IBM for more than 5 years of continuous service, you have vested rights, which probably include the PRP. The Personal Retirement Provision (PRP) was funded between January 31, 1991 and December 31, 1994 but interest credits stopped when you separated from IBM.

    Since you did not take an immediate lump sum distribution for PRP funds within 45 days of separating from IBM, payment was automatically deferred until you make a "retirement election" or reach age 65. The following applies to "vested rights income" which may or may not apply to PRP (I can't tell from doc).

    Payment of your vested rights income (and PRP also?) normally begins on the first day of the month that follows the month in which you reach age 65. You may also elect to have your vested rights income begin early, depending on your length of service at time of separation.

    If you have >5 but <15 years of service (i.e. your case), the earliest age you can start taking this "deferred income" is age 62 (see "1.8.2 Vested Rights Income before Age 65" in USHR113). The amount of benefit you receive is reduced from the age 65 amounts that may have been quoted to you by IBM when you separated, since those documents assume vested benefits will be started at age 65. -Paul Bergeron-

  • Comment 03/09/15:

    I retired with a FHA and will now be Medicare eligible in the next month. I called to create a HRA with the hope of using those funds to pay for my Medicare Part B. I am currently and will continue to have insurance covered by my husband's retirement plan. I was told by the OneExchange Rep that I could not use the HRA funds to pay for my Medicare Part B unless I signed up for IBM sponsored insurance. So it looks like I will not be able to use my HRA funds. Has anyone else had this happen to them? -Retiree-
  • Comment 03/12/15:

    To -Retiree-, to use IBM HRA funds available from Medicare One Exchange you have to have at least one insurance product purchased via One Exchange. I purchased a Medicare Part D prescription Plan (Medicare) since I have a PFFS advantage plan. If you do not have an insurance product Via One Exchange you can not use your IBM HRA funds.

    I am also eligible for HRA funds for Lockheed Martin and the Part D plan is not sufficient for eligibility (LM plan starting later this year). I will have to purchase another plan from One Exchange to use the Lockheed HRA funds.

    Originally IBM did NOT allow the Part D plan to enable one to use the IBM HRA; they changed that prior to the plan implementation according to an One Exchange rep. IBM's money, their rules. I also use the IBM HRA for Medicare Part B reimbursement but this is only possible because I have the Part D plan. Plan accordingly. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 03/20/15:

    Does anyone know a responsible IBM executive to escape issues with OneExchange? I have opened escalations to the IBM Service Center and OneExchange to no avail. Without going into detail my HRA has not yet been funded and so I can't get reimbursed for any Medical expenses. I got the IBM letter saying I am eligible but there seems to be a system problem between IBM and OneExchange. -John Swartz-
  • Comment 03/20/15:

    To -Jackson Bailey- I recommend calling the IBM Employees Services Center (ESC) at 1-800-796-9876 and starting there. You could also look this up online at www.netbenefits.com, which is a website managed by Fidelity Netbenefits for IBM employees. Even after separating from IBM, you should be able to get an estimate of your remaining benefits on that website. If you established an account at Netbenefits website while an employee, it probably still works; otherwise ask the ESC how to get an account on that website.

    With 25 years of service, you have vested rights assuming that you did not already exercise those rights to get immediate benefits when you separated (which is sometimes possible). But it is unclear from your details what plan controls your vested rights: the "cash balance" plan that started in 1999, or the prior "pension credit formula". The ESC should be able to tell you which plan controls your vested rights and give you access to IBM documents which describes that plan. You should also ask about the Personal Retirement Provision (PRP) which was funded between January 31, 1991 and December 31, 1994, unless you took this as a lump sum when you separated from IBM. -Paul Bergeron-

  • Comment 03/20/15:

    I'm also stuck between IBM Service Center and OneExchange. 4/1/15 is my retirement date pension wise. I have to wait until my packet comes from IBM. In the mean time IBM is billing me full medical expense for COBRA 13th month $1083.00. I was paying $388.00 a month this year. I want to go outside to find coverage but being that I have IBM COBRA is my holdup. I have to go to OneExchange meaning pay with FHA money then opt out to outside company to avoid the COBRA coverage question. I feel like IBM has a gun to my head right now. -Over55-
  • Comment 03/20/15:

    To -John Swartz- You may want to contact Dr. Kyu Rhee, IBM's Vice President Integrated Health Services, who rolled out the OneExchange/HRA plan that started in January 2014 for Medicare-eligible former IBM employees. I found reference in Yahoo "IBMpension" group to Dr. Rhee's email address as "kyurhee@us.ibm.com", which might be current. -Paul Bergeron-
  • Comment 03/25/15:

    There has not been a raise in pensions for many years. Has anyone got wind of any raises in the future? Those of us that live on fixed incomes need this to happen. I was hoping my pension wasn't completely fixed. -David McGiffin-
  • Comment 03/28/15:

    -David McGiffin-, I too would like a raise in pension. I bridged in 1993 and retired in 1997. No raises ever. The way IBM executive management is treating its current US employees we will never see a raise. Years ago, Gerstner was asked at a stockholders meeting how about a raise for retirees. His reply, if I remember correctly, was that IBM is not a "welfare" company.

    Without someone representing us, i.e. a union, IBM can do what it wants to employees and retirees, at least in the US. That is why I joined as an associate member. It is not expensive. How many retirees that use this discussion are members of the union? My answer, NOT ENOUGH. Take out your wallets and join!

    Upper management of US companies are totally greed driven and unfortunately US labor laws protect them and the companies, not the workers. (Thanks to the greedy, corrupt and incompetent US Congress which is bought off by companies and 1%ers). EVERYONE should also get involved and vote and maybe we can get rid of some of these corrupt Congress members. Just my opinion. Too many retirees just sit back and accept the status quo and leave the mess for our kids and grandkids to resolve, if that is even possible. -TOM1997RETIREE-

  • Comment 03/29/15:

    Message to -TOM1997RETIREE-, I seem to remember back in 1997 or 1998 I received a letter from IBM with info on raises for retirees but they were limited to those who retired previously. None since, but I'm not expecting any henceforth. Glad that i took the bridge though and never looked back. -1993 bridge to better life-
  • Comment 03/31/15:

    To -1993 Bridge to Better Life-: You are correct; there was one raise in pensions in that time frame for retirees that retired in 1996 or earlier. I definitely remember that as I could not understand why 1997 retirees were not included (Peed-off also). Unless you had been retired for a long time the raise in pension was a pittance. My brother retired from IBM in the early 1990s and his raise was something like $10 per month. Wowee. Generous, NOT!

    The 1993 bridge (which you and I accepted) was much better than the next year bridge. Those folks did not receive credit for their bridge years towards their pension (we did) and they received 6 months pay max as a buyout (we received 12 months max). Obviously down hill since then. (Thanks to Cookie Man and his follow ons).

    Unionization is the only way to change the path this company is taking. IBM may still be able to unload all of its retirees by "selling" the pension plan to an insurance company (any lawyers among us that can answer if they can legally do that, may depend on how the pension plan is set up legally); we would then receive a pension from the insurance company (proceeds from an annuity I believe). Other companies have done this and retirees have lost big time in some cases. (Insurance companies went bankrupt; retirees' pensions in this case are guaranteed by the states, NOT the Federal Government [PBGC]; benefits would vary by state and are not very good in many cases). This is one reason why retirees should be joining the union. We CAN lose too; not just the current employees. Protect our rights, join the union NOW! -TOM1997RETIREE-

  • Comment 04/09/15:

    Has anyone had a problem with the final 401k payment? After leaving last June (2014), I checked my 401k and saw no additional contributions from IBM for either 2014 (switched to end-of-year contribution) or for the first 3 months of 2015. Any idea who to contact for satisfaction? No 401k contribution for 2014 recieved...because I was marked 'terminated' even though I had a retirement party, received a retirement gift, and did my part of the paperwork. Can anyone recommend a good litigation attorney? -Jeff Johnson-

    Alliance reply: The first thing you must understand is that you and ALL US IBM workers are considered "at will employees."

    This means that IBM is not bound by any labor laws to obey IBM's own rules. If they decide to "mark you as terminated" that is their right, under the "at will employee" policy in ALL states in the US. There is nothing much that any "good litigation attorney" can do to fight IBM's decision to terminate you, rather than consider you "retired".

    Even if you WERE considered as "retired", your retirement is still governed by IBM's retirement polices; their "rules."

    As long as IBM works within their own rules and doesn't break any state or federal labor laws or terms of agreement regarding the 401(k) plan that THEY initiated in 1983 there is very slim to none chance that any attorney could win a judgment against IBM. Once again, your situation demonstrates why a union contract protects union employees' benefits and pensions if those things are negotiated, agreed to and signed by IBM management and the workers union on paper, legally.

  • Comment 04/14/15:

    I retired as part of the July 2013 layoffs. I started receiving retirement benefits immediately. I am now trying to reconstruct the retirement calculations for that point in time. I have info needed for point calculations, but need a couple answers to complete. With the pension freeze at end of 2008, what was the details about what 5 year earnings average would be used? Did it also freeze to certain years, or did it continue to the final 5 years I worked? Also can someone tell me the adjustment factor used for 58 year old with 33 years at IBM? -Ronald Young-
  • Comment 04/14/15:

    To -Ronald Young- Refer to document USHR113 "About Your Benefits IBM Personal Pension Plan - Prior Plan", Summary Plan Description, January 1, 2015. This is the latest SPD for the "pension credit formula" plan, which probably applies to you since you are asking about "points" and such. The SPD can be obtained at Fidelity Netbenefits site, or by contacting the IBM Employee Services Center (ESC) at 1-800-796-9876.

    The pension plan was frozen on December 31, 2007, not "end of 2008".

    The "five-year average earnings" used in the formula is basically the average earnings for the highest five years of consecutive service after 1994 and before 2008, but there are nuances so read the SPD section "1.3.2 The Pension Credit Formula".

    So earnings for 2007 can count towards "five-year average earnings", but earnings for 2008 or later years do not count. On the Fidelity Netbenefits website, the "Earnings History" table stops at 2007.

    By "adjustment factor", I assume you are referring to the "Benefit Conversion Factor" (BCF) that "converts the total value of your retirement benefit into an annual benefit amount" as part of the "Pension Credit Formula". These are described in SPD Appendix A. There are a number of tables in Appendix A for different situations (retired, vested, joint survivor, joint surviver restore, Social Security leveling, etc) so it is unclear what applies to you.

    The lookup tables require 2 ages:

    • (a) Column: how old you were when annuity benefits commenced,
    • (b) Row: the lessor of your age on 12/31/2007, or your age when separated from IBM if earlier than 12/31/2007.

    From (b), you can see that the pension "freeze" also greatly affected the "Benefit Conversion Factor". The tables show years of age, but it is an approximation. The actual calculation done by IBM accounts for years and months of age. -Paul Bergeron-

  • Comment 04/20/15:

    I was employed at IBM from Feb 1968 until April 1973. I understood vesting to take place after 5 years of continued service. Please validate or negate my understanding. There seems to be some controversy as to the 5-year vesting in 1968. -Arlene Marks (Beauvais)-
  • Comment 04/21/15:

    To -Arlene Marks (Beauvais)- I can't find documentation on IBM's retirement plan that was in effect when you separated in 1973. Generally for retirement plans, you are limited to the the terms that were in effect in the plan at the time that you separated from IBM.

    If this is the case, you probably needed 10 years of service to be vested (see below). However, there may be some exceptions for some plan provisions, and "vesting" may be one of those exceptions.

    So I recommend checking on this with the Employee Services Center (ESC) at 1-800-796-9876.

    I found a 2003 Yahoo post on the topic "Re: [IBM Pension] Vesting requirements" at ... https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ibmpension/conversations/topics/49625 It states the following:

    According to IBM's internal HR website (copied 10/26/1999):
    • 8/12/1947: Vesting was first permitted with 20 years service
    • 5/01/1959: Eligibility for vested rights income was lowered to 15 years
    • 5/01/1969: Eligibility for vested rights income was lowered to 10 years
    • 1/01/1989: Minimum service requirement for vested rights reduced to 5 years

    Later in the thread, there is some discussion about whether the change to 5 years actually happened in 1989 or 1984, but neither of those dates helps you out. So again, I would check with the ESC to find out for sure. -Paul Bergeron-

  • Comment 04/23/15:

    To SanFrancisco IBMer: I believe you can choose from any available retiree medical plan when the time comes, but note that those plans are not the same as the similar employee/COBRA plans. I've been told by the ESC that the retiree plans aren't as good as the employee plans. Unless you have FHA funds to pay for retiree insurance, I suggest you shop around to find the best plan. -Dave S-
  • Comment 05/03/15:

    I am under the $3K IBM (medical insurance) reimbursement plan. First year it was offered I participated. I pay my medical, dental and vision in full. No problem; I was reimbursed accordingly. In Oct and Dec 2014 I paid the same medical, dental and vision providers in full. I am under automatic reimbursement so there is no paperwork required. When I went into the site to check on payment I found dental plan was reimbursed TWICE. As for the vision plan OneExchange only reimbursed for 1/2 the payment I made. And as for medical, there was no reimbursement.

    I faxed OneExchange and told them they reimbursed me twice for dental $818.88 (2x), and to put the $818.88 towards my medical. They said I had to pay the $818.88 back to them. Needless to say I did not. I faxed, phone called, and written letters. They then said I have to get letter from medical provider that FloridaBlue was paid in full for 2015. I did that and faxed that to them. No reimbursement applied.

    Mind you I paid medical in full DEC 2014 for 2015. This went on for FOUR MONTHS. Finally I decided to address the issue to the CEO of OneExchange and General Manager of OneExchange in Utah. Within a week I received two polite phone calls and I am fully reimbursed within a week. I hope that I will not have any future problems for 2016. By the way I pay in full by check. I do not use credit cards, nor allow anyone to take money out of my checking account unless I authorize it and OneExchange does not have my authorization. Good Luck! -Anonymous-

  • Comment 05/08/15:

    Looking at the 2015 Pension Update Report, it seems strange that IBM claims 58,000 current active employees are in the Prior Plan. 161,000 retirees current collecting pensions and 80,000 former employees with possible future claims. Seems that with 80,000 total current US employees, almost two-thirds would qualify for a Prior Plan Pension; the average tenure of all current employees is 5 years. I think something is rotten in Armonk and the Greedy Bastards THINK Retirees are too dumb to see the criminal activity they are fostering. -John Coffey-
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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