401(k) plans didn’t kill DB plans

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Recently, an economist blamed 401(k) plans for the retirement crisis in this country and I’ve heard the arguments on how 401(k) plans killed defined benefit plans.

401(k) plans are merely a scapegoat. A scapegoat for employers who wanted to save money funding the retirement of their employees, who were just living a little too long. 401(k) plans were merely a mechanism for them to shift the funding of their employees’ retirement from the employer to the employees. With no 401(k) plans, they still would have made the cuts to save money. Let us not forget, so many companies never had pension plans.