In 1999, Rep. Bernie Sanders stood with thousands of IBM employees seeking to restore 320 million dollars in pension benefits IBM was trying to cut. IBM was moving towards a cash balance pension plan which would have put pension benefits for older workers by 50%. Sanders also bought five shares of IBM stock so he could attend the 2000 IBM shareholder annual meeting in Cleveland and protest alongside workers who were against the change in pension plans.
Sanders also passed amendments in the House of Representatives, ensuring that IBM could not discriminate against older workers concerning their pension benefits.
In 2004, IBM workers settled with IBM, and $320 million in pension benefits were restored to 130,000 workers.