dcblogs writes: IBM is offering employees who are nearing retirement — and may be worried about a layoff — a one-time voluntary program that would ensure their employment through Dec. 31, 2013. The program, described in a letter addressed to IBM managers, "offers participants 70% of their pay for working 60% of their schedule." Participating employees would receive "the same benefits they do today, most at a full-time level, including health benefits and 401(k) Plus Plan automatic company contributions." IBM isn't offering the program in lieu of U.S. workforce cutbacks. In 2006, IBM employed about 127,000 in U.S. The Alliance@IBM, a CWA local, now estimates the U.S. workforce at around 95,000. How far IBM will go in cutting gets debate, including one radical estimate.