AOL Backs Down on Employee Retirement-Plan Cuts

Saturday, 08 Feb 2014 08:49 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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AOL has given up on its plan to trim employee retirement benefits to cover the high cost of Obamacare.

AOL chief Tim Armstrong sent an email to employees on Saturday, after a week of backlash over a plan to save the company money by chaning it made matching contributions to employee 401(k) retirement accounts, The Washington Post reports.


“The leadership team and I listened to your feedback over the last week,” Armstrong wrote.  “We heard you on this topic. And as we discussed the matter over several days, with management and employees, we have decided to change the policy back to a per-pay-period matching contribution.”

AOL, which owns websites such as the Huffington Post, planned to switch to an annual, lump sum match of up to 3 percent of an employee’s 401(k) contributions. Employees who left before the end of the year would  have forfeited the match, while loyal employees would have lost investment results possible from ongoing contributions.

Armstrong tried to explain the changes in a town hall session with employees Thursday, and blamed healthcare reform and the complicated pregnancies of two employees, Business Insider reports.

“Obamacare is an additional $7.1 million expense for us as a company,” Armstrong said. “We have to decide whether to pass that expense to employees or cut other benefits.

In his email, Armstrong apologized for those comments.

“On a personal note, I made a mistake and I apologize for my comments last week at the town hall when I mentioned specific healthcare examples in trying to explain our decision making process around our employee benefit programs,” he said.

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