Of Pensions and Piggybanks: The Challenges of Ensuring a Secure Retirement

Source: Ellen Dannin, Employment Policy Resource Network, January 27, 2011

Imagine that every week, decade after decade, you faithfully put aside part of your pay in a special piggy bank to provide for your golden years. But when you are ready to retire, your employer takes all your savings back.

Or imagine that, instead of money, your employer deducts money from your paycheck in exchange for IOUs stamped: “Money to paid upon retirement.” But when you retire, your employer says no money has been put aside for you.

You did nothing wrong, but you will not have a secure retirement.

This is the plight of many employees today. They agreed to defer part of their income for their retirement, but their employers have not kept their side of the bargain. Surely, New Jersey wins the prize for absconding with money owed its public employees. It put so much money on its tab that it now owes $53.9 billion in pension funds But rather than do the right and moral thing, Governor Christie blames the victims. Oddly enough, instead of public outrage over this broken promise, many people are attacking the employees who had – but now have lost – good retirement and health care plans.

Leave a Reply