VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Are traditional pension plans an endangered species?

Defined benefit plans, or pension plans as they are more commonly known, were a core component of the benefits provided by blue chip employers until the 1980s. About 40 percent of all American workers were covered by these plans. Under such plans, employees are guar anteed monthly retirement checks for life based upon their compensation, years of service and other factors. Recently, however, the use of pension plans has dropped dramatically. In 2003, only 20 percent of the work force…

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