That’s the key finding from the 12th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, which surveyed 4,080 American workers of all ages on their attitudes and expectations about retirement.
The court issued a ruling in Cigna v. Amara, a closely-watched case dealing with the health insurance company’s defined benefit (DB) pension plan for its own workers. Cigna had converted its DB plan into a hybrid cash balance plan, but provided incorrect information about benefits owed to employees when the conversion took place.
Deborah Ramsey went to work straight out of high school in the 1970s, working her way through the now-familiar rounds of layoffs, promotions and job changes at a series of banking, insurance and consulting companies in Philadelphia, her hometown. “I did my bit,” she recalls.
In 2005, she was working as an administrator for a technology consulting firm that was undergoing restructuring. “A lot of people were being laid off or leaving. I had been through two big layoffs before, I knew what they smelled like.” Ramsey decided to leave voluntarily, spurred by the changing work environment and caregiving responsibilities at home, where she looks after a mentally disabled daughter, an aging mother and mother-in-law, and her husband, a disabled veteran.
Republicans are waking up to the political and policy malpractice of their vote for the Ryan plan to kill Medicare (hello, New York 26th Congressional District!). Facing the reality that Americans don’t want a voucher substituted for comprehensive healthcare for the old, desperate pouting is taking hold.
I can’t think of another way to describe David Brooks’ column in today’s New York Times, which tries to link the country’s jobs crisis to our lack of will to shift government spending from “programs that provide comfort and toward programs that spark reinvigoration.” Writes Brooks:
It may feel as though 401(k)s have been around forever, but they’ve only been with us since the 1980s (okay, maybe that is forever). Until the 401(k) came along, if you had a workplace retirement plan it came in the form of a traditional defined benefit pension.
Employees didn’t need to do much. Employers made contributions and managed the pension funds. When you started a job, enrollment took place automatically; when you retired, regular checks started coming in the mail and continued for the rest of your life.
The number of renters paying more than half of their income towards rent has hit record levels, according to a new study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) of Harvard University.
Brightscope, which made a splash two years ago with its online performance measurement tools for 401(k) plans, is launching a free service on Tuesday to help people research and shop for financial advisers.
Brightscope’s new service could give a needed jolt of transparency to the financial advisory field, where finding an adviser is often a hit-and-miss process driven by word-of-mouth and referrals. And consumers find themselves wading into a market where almost anyone can hang out a shingle and start providing financial advice; planners may have any number of certifications or titles attached to their names, but none are required.
Can you count on your pension when it’s time to retire? I get that question often from private sector workers worried about their pension plans in the wake of the financial crisis and 2008 market meltdown.
They’re surprised when I tell them not to worry. Nearly all private sector defined benefit (DB) plans are backed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a little-known federally sponsored agency that insures nearly all private sector plans. If you work for a company that goes belly up, the PBGC takes over the plan and its obligations; while some higher-income workers take a haircut on benefits in those situations, most workers get 100 percent of promised benefits.
Public sector pension funds racked up a strong rebound in assets last year, bolstering the argument of supporters that plans are healthier than critics argue.
At the end of 2010, aggregate state and local pension fund assets were up 35 percent from their quarterly trough after the market meltdown (March 31, 2009), and stood at a two-year high, according to a report issued today by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA) and the National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR).
President Obama didn’t lay out a specific Social Security reform plan in his speech on the deficit on Wednesday. But he did say he wants to strengthen the program for future generations without “putting at risk current retirees” or “slashing benefits for future generations.”
“Strengthening” could well include a higher retirement age, as recommended last December by the President’s own National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.