The days of a guaranteed pension are almost over:
I.B.M., which has long operated one of the nation’s largest corporate pension funds, said yesterday that it would freeze pension benefits for its American employees starting in 2008 and offer them only a 401(k) retirement plan in the future.
The company said that the shift, which is expected to spur still more major companies to move away from traditional defined-benefit pension plans, would save it as much as $3 billion through the next few years and provide it with a “more predictable cost structure.”
I.B.M.’s announcement came at a time when a number of large employers have been freezing their pension plans, meaning that employees no longer build up retirement benefits to reflect higher pay and additional years of employment. Verizon, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola and Sears are among those that have recently frozen pension plans for many employees
I wonder how this will play in rgeards to the health care debate.