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Old 08-07-2011, 02:24 PM
 
71,507 posts, read 71,674,131 times
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a study by the investment institute company found that back in 1975 company pensions in the private sector were every where to be found.

yet only 20% of baby boomers ever saw a dime from one.

the reason: very few remained on the job long enough to qualify.
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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I have no reason to doubt anything you said, but if we fast-forward a few years from 1975 and then look at company pensions, I think we will find massive down-sizing of work forces, entire companies going bankrupt and discharging (or largely discharging) their pension obligations in bankruptcy court, and many companies doing away with pensions entirely. Sadly, there is such a different situation now prevailing from that of 1975. If we could all turn back the clock but know what we now know I'll bet many of those who did not stay on the job long enough to qualify would be doing so!
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Murrieta, CA
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Default They dumped their plans!

Many private companies dumped their plans. My husband worked at a hosptial for 30 years, at year 10 they dumped their pension plan. They gave him a check for $10,000 in invest in a 401 (k) type plan. It was up to him to create his own retirement plan.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:08 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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I started my first real job in 1975, and back then the retirements were an option. Most younger people, especially the single ones preferred to keep their full paycheck (less taxes) rather than contribute to a retirement plan, because retirement was so far off they just didn't worry about it.

Remember, many of these were people recently coming from the hippy lifestyle just starting to get real jobs. I would also bet that most people working today in their 20s will never stay at the same job long enough to get a retirement. People typically change jobs frequently these days, even more than in the 70s and 80s.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:34 AM
 
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i dont think we really undertood the value of that pension back in those days. myself included. most of the jobs that had pensions had pay that was so much lower and after all who wanted less pay then you could get elsewhere.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
i dont think we really undertood the value of that pension back in those days. myself included. most of the jobs that had pensions had pay that was so much lower and after all who wanted less pay then you could get elsewhere.
So true. My husband started teaching in the 70's (science). He had worked in industry and took a big pay drop to teach. Many of our friends at the time (who had similar educational backgrounds) thought he was crazy. I used to tell myself at least he'd get a pension, which he did. Of course now teachers are the enemy and I think most people don't realize how low teacher salaries were in those days.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 16,342,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
i dont think we really undertood the value of that pension back in those days. myself included. most of the jobs that had pensions had pay that was so much lower and after all who wanted less pay then you could get elsewhere.
I had a pension back then, but was only partially vested because I went back to school. Sometime in the 90's, they cashed me out because the pension would have been just under $100/mo., which was their cut-off point.

I agree that most didn't know the value of a pension then. I stumbled into a state pension job and even then I just thought it was nice. Now I know how lucky I was to have done so as it will be a large part of my retirement income and provide retirement health benefits.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:45 PM
 
Location: WA
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Every large firm I worked for had extended vesting periods, some age restrictions on pay-outs, and much lower benefits than numbers I see in the press today. I received nothing from a couple of early employers, a token payment from another, and reasonable settlements from two where I was laid off. If it wasn't for 401s, IRAs, and personal dedication to savings and investing I would not have been able to retire.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:48 PM
 
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As I have often used the metaphor of the slow frog boil. These things sneek up on most people, so reason one - not necessarity the most common reason - for people not taking "advantage" of pensions. Reason two? As happyinca stated, many companies dumped pensions. So, I think it an over generalization and or simplification to say people did not take advantage of pensions. I really don't mean to be argumentative. There are just too many 'causes', to lay a single one at the door step of boomers.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
3,850 posts, read 9,438,969 times
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I started at a Fortune 500 company in 1978. In 1996, our division was sold to another company who did not have a pension plan. My cash out for the 18 years I had one? $15,000. I rolled it into my 401K. Not much I could have done differently. I would imagine with all the mergers and acquisitions that were popular in the 80's and 90's, many people were in the same boat.
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