The grand old notion of working hard all your life for a single employer and then retiring, fat and happy, financially secure with a generous pension – well, that kinda seems like a 1940s concept, right? Or something people in Sweden do?
Your perspective on the efficacy and fairness of the traditional pension probably depends on a few factors: What your parents did while you were growing up, what sort of work your senior clients did during their working days, plus your memory of the current events of the last three decades.
The days of the pension being a given have all but dried up in most parts of the private sector, not only here but even in those once-prosperous socialist nations.
But the public sector still awards its employees in a sometimes maddeningly generous fashion; as the financial warbles weather on, both state and federal entities are finally cluing in that they may not be able to support the traditional pension system.
Or, at the very least, allow workers who started their jobs early and served their time, but have reached pension-worthy age well before traditional retirement age. With life expectancies now stretching further and further, a pension that begins at 59 might be drawn for 30 years, or more.
It’s even more financially impactful for military, fire and police retirees, who can often opt for still very well remunerated pension benefits at age 50.