‘Retirement Heist’: How Firms Trimmed Pensions

Source: NPR Staff, NPR Morning Edition, September 29, 2011

As companies have been moving away from traditional pension plans, they have been shifting employees to new retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, that transfer the cost — and the risk — to workers.Companies have claimed for years that old-style pensions were unsustainable. Author Ellen Schultz tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep that there’s another explanation….

…Schultz cites this example of one well-known company whose pension fund has dropped significantly since the early 1990s. General Electric announced it was closing its pension plan to be more competitive. She says the company’s financial filings show that GE has not put a cent into its pension plans since the mid-1980s. Over the years, GE, like most large companies, used assets in the plans to pay for other things.
See also:
Saving For Retirement: How Much Do You Need?
Source: Jennifer Ludden, NPR, September 28, 2011

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