Retirement plan shift is creating a generation of workers unable to retire

Posted on November 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm

(MoneyWatch) Large U.S. employers continue to eliminate traditional pension plans that pay retired workers a monthly lifetime pension in favor of defined contribution and hybrid plans that offer lump-sum payments at retirement, according to a recent survey HR consulting firm Towers Watson.

Among Fortune 1000 companies, only 11 percent still offer a traditional pension plan to newly hired salaried workers, down from 14 percent in 2011 and continuing a long slide from 90 percent in 1985. Conversely, in 1985 only 10 percent of those companies offered only a defined contribution plan to salaried workers — today that figure stands at 70 percent.

The primary reason for this trend has been financial: Employers don’t want the exposure to unfunded liabilities if capital markets perform poorly. At the same time, until recently employees generally hadn’t expressed a preference for traditional pension plans and, in fact, have largely embraced 401(k) and other defined contribution plans. READ MORE

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  1. Comment by Reynalda on July 18, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    I think that your illustration is not celapisley useful.The average pot that is a352k which would give an income of a33200 or a32600 if you are about to retire. The average salary is a326000, or even if you were lucky enough to be in the top 25% of earners, you are earning just under a332,000.the idea of putting away another a310 rather than a31000 per month into a pension is very unrealistic in this current situation.If you manage to retire at 60 then you will have no one to play glof with as your friends will be working for another seven years at least.We also need to be very careful where we put our savings for our retirement, so many pension funds have been lost or looted, so you may find that your fund is less than you thought, or even less than you put in, and what that fund buys you is less than you thought.We need to put more emphasis on spending less now, saving it and investing it in many different ways and needing less in our retirement by sharing resources and costs.

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