AOL is changing the way it matches the money its employees are socking away in their 401(k)s.
Instead of matching contributions throughout the year, AOL will now wait until the year is over.
This change has some AOL employees very upset.
They’ve written an open letter to CEO Tim Armstrong complaining that the lump sum payment is an “unnecessarily risky investment strategy and deprive[s] workers who leave the company of retirement benefits they have earned. “
These employees complain that management did not aggressively inform them that the change was coming.
“Significant changes in compensation, especially changes that result in effective pay reductions, should not be buried in fine print, but discussed openly with employees by a company manager. We all love this company and enjoy working here, and do not believe the way we were notified of this change is consistent with the positive and respectful working environment AOL has cultivated since acquiring The Huffington Post in 2011.”
In a conference call with employees to explain the move, Armstrong said that AOL made the change because of increasing health care costs due to Obamacare.
He said that AOL had a “$7.1 million bill from the Obamacare act in general and we had multiple other things that happened at the company healthcare-wise.”
He said that one of those other things that happened “company healthcare-wise” was that in 2012 two AOLers had “distressed babies” and that AOL had to pay “a million dollars each to make sure those babies were ok in general.”
Armstrong was trying to give an example of how the company goes out of its way to provide for its employees — and that doing this costs money, which has to come from somewhere. “Somewhere” in this case being the money AOL can save by matching employee 401(k) contributions at the end of the year.
But some employees were still perplexed and upset by the story.
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