adBlockCheck

More Companies Phasing Out Retirement Option

Top Headlines

Business

How Internet Clickbait Works

Facebook and other sites have recently begun to fight back against “clickbait,” often misleading internet posts designed to be seen by as many readers as possible. The Onion breaks down the production and spread of this content

Home Depot Employee Can Tell This Customer’s First Attempt At Pipe Bomb

APPLETON, WI—Shaking his head Monday as the customer selected a length of plastic pipe over a stronger metal alternative and placed it into his shopping cart, local Home Depot sales associate Graham Warner, 57, was reportedly able to tell right away that this was the store patron’s first attempt at making a pipe bomb.

Disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings Not Living Up To Ridicule

LOS ANGELES—Describing the experience as a significant letdown, local diner Eric Tidwell told reporters that the disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings franchise he visited Thursday night failed to live up to the scorn he had long heard about the restaurant.

KFC Introduces New Previously Owned 20-Piece Hot Wings

LOUISVILLE, KY—In an effort to meet the changing demands of its consumers, fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken announced Wednesday that it has begun offering customers the option of purchasing, at a significant discount, a 20-piece box of pre-owned hot wings.

Man Has Loyalty To Pretzel Brand

BROWNSVILLE, TX—Describing them as “the best pretzels out there” and “the only ones [he] buy[s],” local resident Ned Carlisle expressed his firm loyalty to Snyder’s of Hanover–brand pretzels Tuesday.

New Mountain Dew Vows To Kill 99.9% Of Stomach Bacteria

PURCHASE, NY—Touting the beverage’s refreshing citrus taste, tongue-tingling carbonation, and prescription-strength antimicrobial properties, PepsiCo officials announced Wednesday that their newest product, Mountain Dew Code White, kills 99.9 percent of consumers’ stomach bacteria.

Heart Attack A Real Wake-Up Call For Man’s Insurance Provider

HARTFORD, CT—Saying the incident had forced them to completely rethink their past decisions about the man’s coverage and how they would approach his policy from here on out, Aetna executives reported Thursday that the recent heart attack of longtime plan member Michael Burns was a real wake-up call for the 163-year-old insurance company.

Big-Box Stores Vs. Small Businesses

While massive superstores like Walmart and Target have dominated the retail landscape for years, many shoppers are rejecting them in favor of smaller, locally owned shops. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two options:

Brita Unveils New In-Throat Water Filters

OAKLAND, CA—Representatives from Brita, the nation’s bestselling brand of household water filtration products, held a press event Wednesday to unveil a new line of filters designed to be installed directly inside users’ throats.

Woman Leaving Meeting Worried She Came Off As Too Competent

OXNARD, CA—Silently chastising herself for the way she behaved in front of her colleagues and supervisors, Cobalt Property Insurance sales associate Leah Manning, 36, was reportedly deeply worried Tuesday that she came off as too competent during the company’s weekly sales meeting.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

More Companies Phasing Out Retirement Option

NEW YORK—With pension funds dwindling as retirees enjoy longer, more capable lives, many businesses have opted to freeze their workers' employment status and keep them on the job through their sunset years.

"Under the new approach, our employees gain the advantage of lifelong job security," Hewlett-Packard CEO and president Mark Hurd said. "Even though our workers will no longer be able to collect a pension, they will receive checks as long as they are able to be wheeled into work and punch the clock."

Hewlett-Packard, Verizon, and IBM are just a few of the Fortune 500 companies that are phasing out the retirement option in favor of "indefinite-employment" plans, under which thousands of qualified workers will continue to earn yearly stipends in exchange for work.

"To the list of outmoded and costly business practices such as health insurance, overtime pay, and lunch breaks, add age-based quitting," corporate management consultant Robert Hopgood said. "Post-retirement-age labor is great for companies, and it's a great way for seniors to stay active."

American companies are following the model set by General Electric, which in the 1970s began requiring departing employees to give 45 years' notice.

Although the paradigm shift is highly admired among cost-conscious managers in the business world, employees question its practicality.

"I don't need to support my family anymore," said 93-year-old Alfred Nuzzo, who has worked as a products inspector for GE's small-appliance division for 68 years. "I have a dead wife and three dead kids."

Multitasking while dying on the job can take its toll. GE customer-service representative Esther Fischbeck, 88, is juggling career, widowhood, and early-stage Alzheimer's disease.

Supervisor Gladys Schiele, 93, inspects the work of data-entry clerk Jack Vandenbogen, 87.

"What is this?" said Fischbeck, clawing at her phone headset. "When do I go home?"

Responding to critics who say that phasing out retirement shows a lack of concern for workers, IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano argued that if companies didn't care about their elderly employees, they would not keep them on the payroll.

"We frequently honor their birthdays with celebrations, and our going-away parties are always respectful and appropriately somber affairs," Palmisano said. "IBM is like a family—you don't leave a family."

Lawrence Babbio Jr., president of Verizon, defended his company's newly enstated non-retirement plan.

"We believe in our workers," Babbio said. "Everyone is valuable and has something to offer, and we're not going to phase them out just because they only have a few years left to live. Even vegetative employees can serve the company by donating valuable, hard-to-find organs to our younger executives. And our comatose employees are very useful as product testers."

Saying that an older person in a wheelchair "shouldn't be pushed into a corner, but in front of a desk," Hewlett-Packard's Hurd said lifetime employment will make his company more inclusive.

"There's a place at our organization for everyone—the young, the old, the mentally incapacitated, the moribund," Hurd said. "All we ask of them is to work a regular 40-hour shift and honor our 'no mercy killing' policy."

He added, "We pride ourselves on the fact that, even after death, our employees can continue to contribute to the company's growth. In an uncertain world, we offer real job security—from training to the grave."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close