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AOL chief ignites firestorm
over 401(k) cuts and
‘distressed babies’ remark

Washington Post, by Jia Lynn Yang

Original Article

Posted By:Dreadnought, 2/7/2014 10:14:58 PM

It should have been a glorious week for AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong. His company’s quarterly earnings, announced Thursday, were the best in a decade. “Olympian,” he declared. Instead, he angered employees, insulted parents with sick babies and shined a light on a practice seeping its way into corporate America that threatens to rob workers of thousands of dollars in 401(k) savings. The strange turn of events began Tuesday, when employees began learning that AOL was switching its 401(k) match to an annual lump sum, rather than distributing the money throughout the year with every paycheck as it had done

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: athina, 2/7/2014 11:03:48 PM     (No. 9724015)

IBM put this in place last year. It´s not just the compounding - At IBM, if you are not employed by Dec. 15 you don´t get the matching funds at all.

New layoffs by the end of this month.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Trigger2, 2/8/2014 6:11:23 AM     (No. 9724173)

Isn´t AOL & IBM huge demonrat campaign contributors? They´re just invoking Barry´s policy that workers have too much money and it needs to be distributed elsewhere (into the pockets of AOL & IBM).

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Reply 3 - Posted by: pineledger, 2/8/2014 6:44:04 AM     (No. 9724206)

Spreading the wealth, right?

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Reply 4 - Posted by: krause, 2/8/2014 7:08:18 AM     (No. 9724229)

So, if you want to leave AOL, do it in January. Could be a challenge for HR.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: nonsense, 2/8/2014 7:49:09 AM     (No. 9724256)

Sounds like a "you´re on your own" strategy favored by the Demonrats. Oh, it´s not them...well sounds like them anyway. By the way, doesn´t "lump sum" just scream taxation? Now that is a Demonrat policy, tax and spend, and that we know to be true.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: strike3, 2/8/2014 8:19:36 AM     (No. 9724298)

Companies will do what they have to to survive and make money. If those people aren´t happy they can always choose one of the many other job openings out there... oh, wait.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: bpl40, 2/8/2014 8:30:03 AM     (No. 9724307)

Lets do some math. Say the average professional employee makes a $100k. The employer match is upto 3%. So the employee switching jobs will lose max $3000. Next the employee must put away more than 6% of their earnings to qualify. Not a high chance. On an average such an employee will switch only if the next job is incrementally multiple times more paying than 3k. Besides corporations are not philanthropic organizations. They are responsible to shareholders to take care of their investments. This is free enterprise.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: oh-heck, 2/8/2014 9:13:12 AM     (No. 9724373)

401K´s are a good program to encourage savings for retirement. Yes, employers have realized that matching the return on the investment is a further incentive to retain employees. And some HR person recognized that employee retention might be improved by making the payout at the end of the year, but only to employees still with the company. This policy was announced before it was implemented.

Contrast that to what congress did to our military service men and women. They changed their benefit AFTER their service was complete.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: RoseOfTexas, 2/8/2014 9:22:44 AM     (No. 9724388)

I´m lucky in that things went the opposite way for me. My employer has always given the match once a year, but we´ve been bought by an entity that matches with every paycheck. We switched over to their system in October & if I can last til next month when the Jan-Sept 2013 match is given, I´m golden.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: stablemoney, 2/8/2014 9:44:38 AM     (No. 9724417)

The article misstates the effect of an single annual contribution over a monthly contribution, because it ignores market timing. If the market declines this year, the participants would benefit from buying into the market more cheaply. Vice versa, if the market were rising, it would benefit the participant to buy in monthly. Yes, but what if the participant leaves? Then stay and get your contribution.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Obviousity, 2/8/2014 9:54:35 AM     (No. 9724428)

401(k) and other retirement funds are the last 12 trillion dollars of OPM that Washington has not spent. AND since 401(k) salary deferrals are subject to SS and MediCare withholding this will slow cash flows to the Treasury. Other Peoples Money.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: jeffrx, 2/8/2014 11:05:12 AM     (No. 9724521)

I look for the Democrats to pass legislation to outlaw 401-k matching by companies. That will solve the problem by freeing up workers that work just for the 401-k benefits. They can choose to become artists or stay home with their families and sing the Obama song. "Obama´s gonna change it..."

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Reply 13 - Posted by: Charactercounts, 2/8/2014 8:10:46 PM     (No. 9724987)

Woman on Fox Business was furious that Armstrong had insulted what she referred to as female employees who had given birth to the distressed babies.

I guess she never heard of spouses and offspring being covered by the husband/father insurance. Instead, the woman on Fox chose to take it as an insult to women.



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Reply 14 - Posted by: woodenleg, 2/8/2014 8:24:07 PM     (No. 9724997)

There is 19 trillion dollars in these private retirement accounts, including 401k plans. Too much financial independence for many of the "elite".

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