Not all IBM employees hate their company's cash balance pension plan.
In fact, 4,000 U.S. employees at IBM's Lotus Development Corp. subsidiary in Cambridge, Mass., are thrilled to be covered by any kind of defined benefit pension plan.
And these employees are worried that lawmakers' efforts to clamp down on cash balance plans might affect their pension coverage, Al Zollar, Lotus' president, apparently told Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., at a meeting in his office on Capitol Hill a little more than a month ago.
Before being purchased by IBM in 1995, Lotus had a defined contribution plan, but no defined benefit plan.
Mr. Kennedy has expressed concerns about the growing number of companies remaking their traditional pension plans into cash balance and other hybrid plans, and intends to introduce legislation regulating such plans.
Mr. Zollar's pleas to Mr. Kennedy come barely a year after IBM's switch to cash balance unleashed a wave of legislation taking aim at these plans.
A spokesman for Mr. Kennedy confirmed the meeting and said cash balance plans were part of the discussion, but refused to give any details.
Mr. Zollar's office did not return calls.