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Subject:  Re: Traditional pension rant (long) Date:  11/12/2003  11:29 PM
Author:  pauleckler Number:  37792 of 88520

Greg, I agree that defined benefit plans are not perfect. You certainly hit many of the main points.

But you missed a very important one. That is that the employer or the insurance company worries about coming up with the funds needed to pay those promised benefits. Hence, the system is professionally managed and guaranteed (as far as it goes).

The defined contribution plan offers none of these promises. You are on your own to manage the investment properly and its your problem if there are not enough funds to fit your lifestyle. Hence, it forces people who are not confortable with financial matters to get into them. It makes a living for financial planners, but puts pensions at risk of exploitation by crooks and various rip offs.

The defined contribution plan sounds great when stocks are doing great. They are not so good when the future is uncertain.

There are lots of people out there who have worked very hard for years and years who are destined not to have much of a pension under defined contribution systems. I think they deserve better treatment. Certainly defined benefit plans did very well for the previous generation of retirees.

What are the odds we can come up with something better that Congress will actually pass and business will accept?
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