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Cash Balance pension conversions

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What is your opinion on the cash balance pension conversions? I work IBM and have recently been converted. According to the Gantt tables My old plan was worth approx $78,000 for the 18 years I've been here. My opening balance after the "conversion" was $45,000. A friend of mine left the company because of this and he is being offered the smaller balance only.. I though that being "vested" meant that it couln't be reduced? How can IBM do this?

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