IBM won an appeal in the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court's decision it had discriminated against older workers when it converted its pension plan to a 401(k) in 1999, affecting roughly 140,000 employees.

The plaintiffs had argued that converting the plan to a 401(k) unfairly benefited younger workers because they would have a longer time horizon during which to save. The court ruled that "treating the time value of money as discrimination is not sensible."

"We are gratified that the Court of Appeals has vindicated IBM's long-held position that its pension plan formula is both lawful and age-neutral," IBM said in a statement.

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