My desk was so messy that I couldn't find anything on it or in it, still hadn't filed away last year's records, etc., etc. So, after the movie this afternoon I decided to tackle the top of my desk. ... and I'm almost done, but this stopped me:
A letter from IBM postmarked March 16, 2007. Enclosed was a 2005 (what, 2005??) Summary Annual Report which summarized annual financial reports. IBM is required to file said report each year - for the previous year. OK, so the Feds aren't fussy about timely reporting.
But... the thing that
made my eyes pop out of my head caught my eye was this:
SUMMARY ANNUAL REPORT FOR IBM BENEFITS PLAN FOR RETIRED EMPLOYEES (that's me)
... bla bla bla
Basic Financial Statement: The value of Plan assets, after subtracting liabilities of the Plan, was $8,412,470 as of December 31, 2005, compared to $50,142,996 as of December 31, 2004. During the Plan year, the Plan experienced a decrease in its net assets of $41,730,526. During the Plan year, the Plan had a total income of $688,897,738, including employer contributions of $516,815,746, participant contributions of $170,595,865 and earnings on investments of $1,486,127. Plan expenses were $730,628,264. These expenses included $60,645,169 in administrative expenses and $669,983,095 in benefits paid to participants and beneficiaries.
Do I read this right? They started 2005 with $50 billion and ended the year with $8 billion? Or, is it possible that the retirement fund that is going to pay me a monthly check the rest of my life only has $8 million dollars? I know IBM has been changing around retirement benefits for current employees (aka no more pension plan), but...
I think I need to read those financial statements when they come next time; although I'm not sure what I would do if the news really is as bad as it looks.