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Showing posts from November, 2009

The Corporate Attack on Pension Plans

While George W. Bush’s attempt at privatizing Social Security famously failed, private industry has largely been successful at shifting their group pension plans into individual private accounts. In fact, for many people, traditional defined benefit employer-sponsored pensions are something they are not even familiar with. Most of us are used to 401(k), IRA, or other defined contribution plans, if we even have such a plan. These individual accounts (sometimes employers match funds up to a certain amount, many times they don’t contribute anything at all) are almost always invested in the volatile stock market. They essentially absolve companies of any financial risk associated with retirement and firmly place that risk on the back of each individual employee.

Because of the large amount of non-unionized industries, and the class-collaborationist ideology of many union bureaucrats in the industries that are, there have been few attempts to fight this blatant rollback of gains made in th…