Based on the argument from both slides such as IBM as well as the statements provided by the participants, it is clear that there is a clear conflict between the employee as well as their employers. The statement recorded in the committee clearly underlines that the employees are not happy with the transition in the benefit plan adopted by their employees.
In this assessment, there will be a clear representation of an opinion based on the arguments provided by both sides. On the other side, we will also have a look at the IBM Proxy Cash Balance Plan, which will be used to form an opinion in this case (Kumar,. and Perepu., 2021). There are two perspectives represented such as cash balance plan highlighters by IBM and Congressional testimony given by nearly four cash balance plan participants who are not happy with this transition in their retirement benefits.
Practicing age discrimination
Before highlighting whether IBM is practicing age discrimination or not it will be better to look into the proposal given by the shareholders of IBM on age discrimination in retirement policies which is referred to in the IBM proxy cash balance plan and on the other hand a difference from the congressional testimony given by the employee who thinks they have to face such a kind of discrimination from their employee (Ibm.com. 2022). Statements given by Janice Winston from Verizon, Larry Cutrone from AT&T, Janet Krueger from IBM, and a statement from Jimmy Tarlau from National Organizing Coordinator of Communications Workers of America almost have similarity in their opinion that they have been losing their retirement value after such transition.
IBM has undertaken a new retirement medical insurance plan as well as a new cash balance pension plan in the year 1999 which ultimately affected those employees who have long promised plans. There were three permanent age groups where it highlighting that any employee aged more than 50 years plus 15 years of service, can choose older or new pension plans. While employees with an age of more than 40 years plus 10 years in service can also choose between old and new plans, unfortunately, were forced to choose the new policy. However, those employees younger than 40 years and have less than 10 years of experience will have to choose the new medicine as well as new Cash Balance plans (Colby. 2019).
On March 7, 2001, an employment discrimination report presented by BNA, The Internal Revenue Service put a hold on adapting the new Cash Balance policies. However, whatever the outcome may be, IBM will face huge consequences for age discrimination. IBM has argued that its various plans and policies are significantly outdated compared to what its competitors had been providing to their employees (Flynn, A. and ThemeCountry, 2022).
Discussion on the Cash Balance plan and it is inherently discriminatory
After a certain age, IBM offers their employees a system of getting a pension in which the Cash Balance plan is an extra twist. Usually, in the cash balance plan, IBM is habituated to paying an amount in a hypothetical account for each and every employee after retirement. So, the employees can get an exact quantity of money which is based on the percentage of the investment done by the company as a term like a pension. However, IBM has made an argument at the time of adaptation of a new cash balance plan. They have decided to give the chance to the employees that they can save a specific amount of money from their salary in the provided account while working (Johnston, Hatem, and Scott, 2019). Then, after retirement, the company has added some extra money on which the person has gotten the interest as a pension.
However, the plan is not liked by the staff as it is a type of benefit reduction. As the employees can save their money from their salary in normal accounts where they can get more interest. Also, the salary has been deducted and there is a chance that the employee may leave the job after getting a better opportunity (Ensle, 2021). So, at that time, they can not get the amount they have saved and because of this reason, the argument raises its head. Employees may lose the amount of their hard work in the lust of getting a pension after a certain age which is just apparently attractive according to them.
If the researcher has worked in the treasury department, then it is quite normal that he or she has listened to all of the employees about their points of view and the IBM authority to know about their angle (Silveira et al., 2022). It is quite normal that the employee who has worked in the company for many years and has come at the age of retirement, has wanted to invest some extra amount on which he or she can get interested, he or she has become interested. On the other hand, the employees who have worked fresher in the company and have the interest to change the job after getting better opportunities, obviously do not want to invest a percentage of their salary in the fund which they have not taken at the time of resignation. So, in this perspective, the idea of the company, IBM, is to gain profit even from the salaries of their staff. It is true that in the savings of their funds which they have invested in the pension amount of the employees, they also have gotten some percentages. So, they just changed the plan of cash balance just for their own benefit from every angle (Shalhoub et al., 2019). They can gain the percentage of money the employee from the salary which they have invested if they have resigned from the job. Also, they have gained a percentage of profit when employees have gotten pensions. After listening to the entire scenario, the researcher should make the perfect decision.
Based on the above opinion it has to be clear that although employers are focusing on their benefits on the other they have to take care of their employees, especially those who are working long-term in the workplace. However, the management as well as the board members are obliged for preparing an adaptive cash balance plan design that can reflect today’s marketplace. This will cater to employee career expectations as well as competitiveness in the compensation plans.