No. of Recommendations: 1
IBMs big mistake seems to have been that they forced the system on retirees to the detrement of more senior employees. In the future, employers will probably be careful to cushion the transition--offering a few perks for those who make the elective change, maintaining the old system for those senior employees, or smoothing the transition.

I guess I was lucky. When the giant corporation I worked for (USWest before Qwest got their hands on it) changed their plan, they made the new plan mandatory for new employees but kept the old plan around. When you retired, you got the payout from whichever plan you were eligible for that paid the HIGHER benefit. When I elected an early retirement and lump sum, they actually calculated my payout under three plans for which I qualified and gave me the largest of the three. At the time that the plan changes were made, all of the senior management had worked their way up through the company -- a situation that has become vanishingly rare in large corporate America.
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