IBM Delivers Financial Education and Planning for All U.S. Employees
IBM today announced a multi-million dollar personal finance and education benefit program for all its U.S. employees that sets a new benchmark for corporate retirement planning in America as the company transitions from traditional retirement benefits to IBM’s new 401(k) Plus Plan in 2008.
The new program, called “IBM MoneySmart” combines in-person educational seminars, online tools and confidential, one-on-one personal planning sessions with independent financial experts. It is designed to help IBMers “get smart” about personal finance by providing them with the guidance they need to plan for a secure retirement. Employees will have access to experts who can assist them on topics ranging from retirement income planning to college savings and debt management.
“No other company that I’m aware of has ever done anything this comprehensive for its employees,” said Randy MacDonald, IBM Senior Vice President, Human Resources. “It combines broad-based financial education with unlimited access to confidential, one-on-one personal financial planning that will help IBMers navigate in a retirement environment where all employees – not just IBMers -- have increasing responsibility for managing their own retirement assets"
IBM is teaming with two of the nation’s leading financial service firms to develop and deliver these services -- Fidelity Investments® and The Ayco Company, L.P., a Goldman Sachs Company, both premier companies who share IBM’s vision for this new service and have a range of capabilities that complement each other well. Both teams who are involved in MoneySmart are highly experienced and credentialed, and are also specifically trained in all of IBM’s benefits programs.
The financial planners of Ayco and financial representatives from Fidelity who serve as MoneySmartCoaches are committed to customer satisfaction and receive no additional compensation for product or service recommendations from their own company versus products or services of any other company.
The new program is to be launched in March with a series of seminars that will be available live via in-person group meetings at IBM sites nationwide or through interactive Web conferences. Spouses or domestic partners are welcome to attend, accompanied by an employee. It is generally intended that seminars will be held during working hours, with evening offerings for those who work shifts. The next phase, starting in April, will include unlimited one-on-one counseling over the phone with specially trained Ayco financial planners and Fidelity financial representatives providing personal assistance and guidance to IBMers. A firewalled, protected web portal hosted by Ayco customized for IBMers will provide support throughout and serve initially as the seminar registration center, but over time will provide personalized action lists, store personal financial data, provide self-service tools and serve up downloadable content.
“MoneySmart, along with IBM’s new approach to retirement benefits, sets a new standard for retirement programs in this country – and delivers on the company’s commitment to assist employees through this transition,” said MacDonald.
IBM is fully absorbing the fees associated with this program for at least the first two years. At the end of two years, costs will be evaluated again based on business affordability, employee satisfaction and program utilization.
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