TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

A better pension

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 8:59 p.m.
 

Replacement of traditional defined-benefit pensions — which aren't as good for workers as often thought — by 401(k)-style defined-contribution plans makes sense because of how Americans work today.

Dallas Salisbury, president and CEO of Employee Benefits Research Institute, tells The Washington Post that defined-benefit plans always have been best for highly paid employees and those who stay with one employer for most of their careers.

But Americans now change jobs more frequently. Median job tenure for men older than 55 peaked in 1983 at 15.3 years and now is less than 11 years. For women, it's now 10 years.

In 1975, The Investment Company Institute, a mutual fund industry group, reported that 90 percent of private-sector workers had defined-benefit plans but only one in five ever received income from those plans. And the inflation-adjusted median annual payout was just $4,700.

Since 1975, federal regulations have boosted defined-benefit payouts — and caused employers to drop such plans. But growth in 401(k)-style plans has helped those getting income rise from 21 percent to 31 percent of private-sector retirees and increased their median benefit by nearly a third.

Defined-benefit plans simply aren't sustainable these days and defined-contribution plans, over time, offer better retirement prospects. It's a lesson the private sector is taking to heart — and one the public sector must learn, for taxpayers' sake.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
  2. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  3. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions
  4. Work release inmate walks away from Armstrong County Jail
  5. Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless
  6. Multiple delays to slow travel between Alle-Kiski Valley, Greensburg
  7. Hempfield murderer serving life sentence promises restitution when he’s released
  8. Steelers’ Bell unsure why NFL reduced his suspension
  9. 1 person reportedly stabbed at Fayette housing complex
  10. Steelers notebook: LB Dupree sits out backs-on–backers drill
  11. Westmoreland torture-slaying convict Smyrnes says death row isolation too cruel