There’s been a good amount of discussion in the last week over IBM’s announcement to shift its 401(k) plan contributions to a once-a-year deal, rather than the more popular quarterly or even monthly inputs common to most plans.

The date picked, apparently, is Dec. 31, giving it a nice holiday theme – you know, sort of a present for all of its employees’ hard work over the year – though it’s not really a bonus. Actually, it’s a financial deferral on the part of the world’s one-time-biggest technology company, one that’s going to save IBM a lot of money. Things are simple: If you leave before Dec. 15, unless you retire, you don’t get the match.

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