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Aren't most pensions insured by US government?

Not exactly. There is the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp which is one of those quasi-governmental organizations, a bit like the FDIC. Most defined benefit pensions are insured by the PBGC, but there are limits on the benefit they can pay out.

If you have a defined contribution plan, you've got no guarantees at all. Just a claim on your share of the pension plan's assets. If the plan makes lousy investments, you're out of luck.

For the OP, if you have concerns about the stability of the pension plan, I'd give serious consideration to taking early benefits and get the money into your pocket. Yes, you'll lose some to taxes, but the loss from a failed pension plan could be a lot more. I also very much like the suggestion to see if you can take a lump sum and roll that into an IRA.

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