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Author: CorkyF16 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76384  
Subject: Re: Can You Count on Your Pension? Date: 1/30/2004 11:40 PM
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<<<<<<Can You Count on Your Pension?>>>>>>>>>

No.

Well, that is you can't count on pretty much anything but a Government (Military or Civil Service) pension. At they are backed, essentially, by the full faith and credit of Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam will not dissolve your pension during a "reorganization."

Anything else, can, may, and might be gone either (a) before you need it or (b) while you need it.

Just take a look at a couple of things:
- The *big* shift to Cash-Balance plans (IBM, Delta Airlines, etc)
- The evaporation of promised retirement benefits (Bethlehem Steel, US Airways, etc).

A pension that is only as good as the strength of the company behind it should be expected to provide nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. If it does, great, but otherwise to count on it being there when you most need it is to court disaster.

The fact that companies like GE, GM, and many others can manipulate their earnings based upon their retirement plans is indicative of the permanence (or lack thereof) of such plans.

My $0.02,

Corky
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