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Underfunded Retirements – the Looming Crisis in the Golden Years

When “baby-boomer” parents were in the workforce, the corporate funded pension plan was the key to a comfortable retirement. Alas, most companies abandoned pension plans and replaced them with 401K’s. The only wrinkle was and is that the employee funds the plan, hopefully, but not necessarily, supplemented by the employer.

There are very few remaining corporate pension plans. One of the biggest is GE who just reported that it is “freezing” it pension plan. The conglomerate is facing a pension payout of $91.7 billion that it owes to more than 600,000 retirees, and it is unfunded by almost $33 billion. As I have reported in earlier columns, we are looking down the barrel of serious issues among retirees. “Boomers” are woefully under-funded for their retirement and even the Social Security System, without a fix, is running out of cash by 2035. So much for the Golden Years.

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