Introduction: Pensions Are Dying; Long Live Pensions

“...At present, the only way a company can manage the risk of long-lived workers is to work them so hard that they die within a few years of retirement; this is not a good way to retain staff....”

Financial Times, editorial, September 30, 2006

On Wednesday, August 25, 2010, construction giant, Caterpillar Inc., issued a press release that was distributed to newswires and the usual business channels. In a briefly worded statement, it announced that all management, support, and other nonunion employees in the U.S. would no longer be entitled to participate in the company’s traditional pension plan. The plan was being closed and frozen to all nonunion employees. Instead, new Caterpillar employees ...

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