The Old Private Pension System

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The old private pension system was created in the 1920’s and expanded throughout the 30’s and 40’s (McDonnell). Private pensions were considered one of the three income sources for retired elderly. Originally, private pensions had defined benefits. The employer and employee would agree to a percentage of salary that the employee would receive from the company annually during retirement. Contractually obligated, this placed the liability onto the employer. Estimates say that employees could receive around 40% of their last year’s salary as annual income with defined benefits. In the 1990’s, the pension plans gradually changed from defined benefits to defined contribution. The employees, rather than negotiating retirement salary now determine the amount of their salary that will be saved in a retirement fund. Retirement income is a burden on the employee rather than employer (Ghilarducci 8). In order to equal the income of the old plans, employees give their retirement savings to mutual funds that invest in the stock market. While a key aspect of retirement, the system has evolved like most economic institutions, favoring the wealthy and established. Furthermore, the private pension system contributes to a market bubble, putting money into the stock market regardless of market strength. These two problems cause the modern pension system to be flawed and unstable. The program must undergo drastic reform in order to save private pensions. It is evident that the current pension
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