The Pension Research Council at the Wharton School hosted some of the top retirement policy experts from around the world. The symposium, “Reimagining Pensions: The Next 40 Years,” marked the 40th anniversary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and the 60th Anniversary of the Council.
Mark Miller from Reuters has a nice article on the event. He reports that defined benefit plans have long been on the decline in the private sector, which concerns some. Yet according to Dallas Salisbury, DB plans were never as important to retirement security as many thought. Contrary to popular belief, Americans have always switched jobs often, so “the move away from defined benefit plans has had limited or no negative impact on their financial well-being.” Moreover, many U.S. corporations would not want to start new DB plans, according to Kevin Covert, due to market volatility and exposure to lawsuits. Yet the shift of market risk to retirees remains a a worrisome trend. During the 2008-09 crash, many sustained heavy losses in their retirement accounts.
To read all of Mark Miller’s article “The Vanishing Defined-Benefit Pension and its Discontents” click here.