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IBM talks up US pensions with ornery old-timers

Settlement looms

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IBM is in talks which could resolve the case brought by 140,000 older pension holders in the US who believe they were discriminated against by changes made to the company pension scheme in the 1999.

In February, a judge ruled in favour of the pensioners and was due to announce damages soon. IBM asked the judge to postpone any announcement because the firm is "in discussions regarding a possible resolution of some of the remedies, issues and/or claims in the suit." It warned that a settlement could cost it as much $6.5bn - the largest pension settlement in history, according to AP newswire.

The case is being closely watched because it has implications for many large firms which run pension funds. Many firms moved to "cash-balance" pension schemes in place of traditional pensions. ®

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