AOL has decided to change the way it handles 401(k) retirement accounts. Instead of matching employee contributions monthly, it will make one lump-sum match at the end of the year. This screws employees and makes more money for AOL in two ways. First, they no longer contribute any matching funds at all for people who leave in the middle of the year. Second, employees don’t earn interest on their matching funds throughout the year.
So what’s behind this Scrooge-like nickel and diming? Can you guess? Can you? Here’s CEO Tim Armstrong:
In the CEO chair, let me give you an example of the decisions we have to make as a company: Obamacare is an additional $7.1 million expense for us as a company….As a CEO and Management Team, we had to decide “Do we pass the $7.1 million of Obamacare costs to our employees or do we try to eat as much of that as possible and cut other benefits?”
It’s Obamacare’s fault! The all-purpose punching bag gets the blame again. AOL’s health care expenses went up this year, just as they have every year since the company was founded, but this time it’s Obamacare’s fault. Why? Well, why not? It’s a mighty handy excuse, isn’t it? And it certainly distracts everyone from the fact that AOL is shafting its employees even though it just announced its best results in a decade.