Lamenting the demise of the pension plan may be misguided. Even while most Americans never had a pension, many who did never received substantial value from them.
I was surprised to learn long tenure with one employer was never the norm.
A common perception of past generations of American workers was that they held a career job — staying with the same employer for most of their working years and then retiring. In contrast, current American workers are viewed to change jobs more frequently.
However, the data on employee tenure — the amount of time an individual has been with his or her current employer — show that workers of past generations are similar to current workers in terms of tenure. EBRI
Today, both traditional pensions and longer tenure are concentrated in government employment. The bad news is taxpayers are burdened with the costs of benefits they don’t have.
The good news is that workers have 401k and IRAs that, if used properly, can provide greater value.
The bad news is those too often those plans are not used properly, or in too many cases, not at all.
I wonder what life would have been like if I hadn’t worked for the same employer (providing a pension) for nearly fifty years? I know for sure my retirement would be substantially different.