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IBM shifts 401(k) policy to once-a-year matches

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

IBM will begin making lump-sum matching contributions to employees' 401(k) accounts on an annual basis, rather than contributing each time a worker gets a paycheck.

It's a move that will help the technology company cut costs. Experts say other major employers could follow suit because IBM is a large and generous employee benefits provider, and influential in the benefits field.

IBM historically has distributed matches to 401(k) accounts every other week when employees are paid. But spokesman Doug Shelton says employees were notified this week that contributions will be made just once annually, at Dec. 31, beginning next year.

Contribution amounts won't change. But employees who leave IBM prior to Dec. 15 in a calendar year won't be due that year's end-of-year lump-sum 401(k) contribution, unless they're retiring.

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