Employers Privatize Our Retirement, Saves Them Money — Saves Us Nothing.

The biggest companies in the US are ripping off their employees. Again. We already skip days of our vacation and fear asking for a raise, because there are literally thousands of people outside of the door eager to pounce on our jobs. It is bad. Now our employers are after our retirement plans. The traditional pension is virtually dead.

“In 1998, just more than half (of companies) offered new hires a defined-benefit plan (traditional); by 2013, that had fallen to just 7 percent.”

The majority of people had pensions. The unions fought for them. Those were the good old days. Blue and white-collar workers used to support their family on one income. That is gone. Loyalty to a company used to mean an honorable retirement and a comfortable retirement. Then we started hearing about steel workers losing their retirement when the steel mills folded. Then pilots started losing theirs. And the states don’t have enough to cover retirement.

Now we are just a body. Companies use us up, toss our bodies on the heap and get another employee. In the 90’s we could work 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and leave. Now we work 60 hours a week, and even then most of us are tied to our jobs by the invisible bonds of our cell phones. After all that, we feel guilty for being at home.

So what is this “defined-benefit” vs. “defined-contribution plans?” Defined benefits are the retirement plans guaranteeing the company would pay us so many dollars a month, maybe half what we made in a month and pay our healthcare including prescriptions until we died.

Defined contributions are 401(k)s employers set up for us in our name…I don’t like the sound of that. The employer adds money to it, and so do we. The idea is we can save enough for a good retirement. But we have to become mini-Wall Street people to achieve any sort of success. Now I know I don’t like this plan.

The big companies know we will most likely fail managing our 401(k)s. In 371 companies, a survey showed that most employees don’t use their 401(k) wisely. I would say instead that most employees “cannot use their 401(k), because it is too difficult to manage.”

Companies make out like well, bandits. When they privatize retirement packages, corporations save a great deal of money. For us the management fees for our 401(k)s eat up much of our retirement. We’re screwed.