Now for a downer

After that cheery news below about giving there’s this from the NY Times:

…with the recent announcements of pension freezes by some of the cream of corporate America –  Verizon, Lockheed Martin,  Motorola and, just last week,  I.B.M.
– the bell is tolling even louder. Even strong, stable companies with
the means to operate a pension plan are facing longer worker lifespans,
looming regulatory and accounting changes and, most important,
heightened global competition. Some are deciding they either cannot, or
will not, keep making the decades-long promises that a pension plan

Ugh! More…


  1. The unique thing is that it took so long for them to figure out. The idea of a pension is a free ride. Nothing in life is free … it never was! The idea of a contribution retirement account is premium because it si a fixed cost and can be limited to IRA matching contribution, or employee retierment accounts. Moreover it makes the employee more responsible for saving and that is something that we as Americans do a terrible job at … SAVING MONEY!

  2. Well, I’m not sure I’d agree a pension is a free ride. Its a kind of employer-shared deferred compensation program–otherwise they owe me more cash. That leaves us free to consume, consume, consume. I heard a commentator say not even 9/11 could slow down American consumers, and if it had, we’d been in the dumps as badly as the 1930s. Also pensions reached their zenith during, say, the ’70s when American prosperity seemed unassailable and we didn’t foresee that we’d have to support a lot of people in an environment of literally billions of capable people who never even had the dream of such wealth.