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My first job had a pension plan but you had to be there 10 years to 'vest' and have any pension. I left after 3 years (non -voluntary).

Second company had a pension plan. You needed 10 years at first to qualify...I had 12 years of service before I left. I left the pension money in..that was 1983. I also was buying stock at 15% discount and got all I could. did that for 12 years. Left in 1983...

Last job had a needed 10 years.....about 10 years in,the feds changed all the pension rules. It was unatrractive for companies and the funding could shift massively from year to year depending upon last years returns, stock gains, interest reates, etc. My company did away with pensions....for those who did not meet the 'formula' of years plus service equal to 55. I missed it by two years.....those who qualified stayed in the pension plan...otherwise, your pension money so far was dumped into your a special sub account you couldn't change - in company least not until age 55).....

when I left in 1999..took 'voluntary layoff' ..that got converted to $$$....and I had a fair chunk of company stock and a fair bit in the 401K from years of contributions at max level.

However......I haven't touched the 401K which I rolled over to IRA immediately after leaving the company.....but will have to in 2 years.....reaching 70 1/2 then.

From the second job...I get $5400 a year in pension.....not inflated adjusted and no COLA...and started that at age 60. I get twice that in dividends from the company stock I accumulated. Add that to the SS....and I'm meeting my basic needs......

The IRA has grown nicely.....

and my other stock accounts doing nicely.....spinning off interest and dividends.

But if folks aren't going to save for retirement, there won't be many pension plans around to provide them a 'living' in retirement. They've got to sock away money in 401Ks and IRAs and not be raiding it every job change. It ought to be near impossible to get at. Until you reach age 60 or 65, and then only less than 10% a year withdrawal.

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