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retirement take control

Today’s companies are rewriting the retirement rules for working Americans. Traditional pension plans, which gained prominence in the 20th century, are rapidly disappearing because of the high costs involved in funding them. Some corporations are defaulting on their plans, and an increasing number of companies have underfunded or at-risk plans.

To help protect employees with corporate pensions, the federal government has enacted laws requiring employers to meet a 100% funding target for their defined-benefit plans. Companies that sponsor pension plans are also required to pay higher insurance premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), which was created by Congress in 1974 to help protect American workers from the risk of pension default. Premiums have increased because the PBGC itself is facing a deficit as a result of more companies defaulting on their pension plans.

Because of these costly requirements, it is becoming less and less attractive for companies to provide traditional pensions to retirees. Employers with underfunded plans may simply choose to eliminate them, and even companies with healthy plans may decide that defined-benefit plans are not worth the cost. As a result, it is likely that more companies will offer defined-contribution plans like the 401(k) to attract new employees and to help employees fund their own retirements.

Thus, it is important to be aware that you may have less help from your employer and will probably have to rely more on your own nest egg to fund your retirement. Get ahead by planning for retirement early.