IBM Shareholders Reject Cash Balance Vote

April 25, 2000 ( - IBM shareholders overwhelmingly rejected a nonbinding shareholder proposal that would have called on the computer giant to offer all employees the same choice in their pension plans.

However, the resolution was supported by nearly 30% of the voting shareholders, according to a Reuters report, nearly ten times the amount that proponents had hoped for.

IBM changed its pension programs last year, switching most employees to a cash-balance plan from its traditional pension program. Cash balance plans allow employees to accumulate benefits steadily over their careers, generally better for younger, or more mobile workers. In conventional pension plans, such as IBM’s, older workers accrue most of their benefits in the last few years before retirement.

Following initial criticism of the move, IBM doubled the number of employees eligible to choose between the two programs. As a result, nearly half of their workforce of 145,000 had already been given a choice prior to today’s vote.