Older IBM employees got a surprise e-mail today: an early retirement offer which asks them to cut their hours by 40% and their pay by 30% if they announce a retirement date of Dec. 31, 2013 or earlier.If it sounds like a bad deal, consider that it’s better than the alternative: Just being fired unexpectedly.
It’s actually a pretty clever way to get older workers to share their knowledge before they go.
IBM wouldn’t confirm how many workers were offered this early retirement plan, reports WRALtechwire. In 2010, the company stopped sharing its workforce numbers. We do know that IBM has been laying off workers.
Some employees believe that IBM is trying to trim its North American workforce by 75% and shift to cheaper offshore workers, an employee that spent 12 years with IBM and left last month told us. U.S. employees say that IBM is particularly targeting older and higher paid workers in its layoffs.
This, they say, is part of a plan to increase shareholder EPS to $20 by 2015 which IBM calls Roadmap 2015 and workers internally call Road Kill 2015.
The early retirement plan applies to people who have been with IBM for 30 years or are 55 with 15 or more years at IBM, or are over 60 with one to five years in.
A reader sent us the e-mail with the actual early retirement offer. Here it is:
IBM is pleased to notify you of your eligibility to apply for a one-time, voluntary program for IBMers in the U.S. nearing retirement. Called Transition to Retirement, it offers a gradual way to retire, with advantages for both you and the company.
If approved to participate in the program, you’ll receive 70 per cent of your current pay while working 60 per cent of your current schedule. You’ll also receive the same benefits you do today, most at a full-time level, including health insurance and 401(k) Plus Plan automatic company contributions. Due to the experience and skills you possess and the business need to close the gaps your departure would create, you’ll be exempt from any resource actions that may occur during the Transition to Retirement period. You agree to retire on December 31, 2013 –or earlier, if you choose to do so.
IBM is offering this program to address issues facing American businesses and employees alike.
In recent years, American workers, including IBMers, have been asking for ways to gradually ease into retirement– maintaining a certain level of pay and benefits while freeing up time to explore what to do in their next phase of life.
At the same time, businesses, including IBM, want the ability to forecast when employees may retire so they can better plan.
The Transition to Retirement program was designed to address these issues. We believe it balances the needs of our U.S. retirement-eligible employees with the needs of our business.
For you, it provides a way to scale back on IBM commitments so you can explore what to do when you retire, whether that involves a second career, volunteer work or other meaningful ways to fill your time.
For IBM, it provides advance notice of when IBMers will retire, giving managers time to work with their teams to identify key skills and knowledge, while maintaining commitments to our clients and the business.
Financial planning and retirement resources–including MoneySmart seminars, individual coaching sessions and other programs –are available to help you decide if Transition to Retirement is right for you. Much more information, including eligibility requirements, start dates, resources and application procedures can be found on the w3 Transition to Retirement for Eligible IBMers resource page.
Whether you ultimately decide to participate, IBM encourages you to use the resources available to help you plan what you’ll do when you are ready for that next phase in life.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Are you an IBM employee or former employee with a story to tell? We want to hear it. We are discreet. [email protected]