Senators Urge IBM to Reconsider Match Decision

March 8, 2013 ( – Two U.S. Senators sent a letter to IBM president and CEO Virginia Rometty asking her to reconsider the company’s recent change to 401(k) plan match timing.

Senators Bernard Sanders (I-Vermont) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) expressed “strong concerns with recent changes in IBM’s match and automatic contribution” decision. In December 2012, IBM announced that it would decrease the number of times it matches employee contributions to just once a year (see “See (k)Plans: Changing Times”).  

The Senators requested “IBM review this decision and reinstate matching funds on a biweekly basis as soon as possible.” The letter, posted on the website of IBM employee union Alliance@IBM, pointed to IBM’s past decisions to reduce pension benefits and cut its workforce despite growth in earnings. “Given IBM’s reported earnings in 2012, this most-recent decision to terminate biweekly contributions in favor of one annual payment at year’s end seems severe,” the Senators wrote.  

The Senators expressed concern that “IBM will benefit greatly at the expense of loyal IBM employees.”