American pensions have been circling the drain for decades as Wall Street companies have tried to shed their high costs for much more bottom-line-friendly 401ks, which put the onus on the worker. Between 1985 and 2012, the U.S. has lost roughly 85,000 pension plans, write Donald Bartlett and James Steele in their book, The Betrayal of the American Dream.
The number of Fortune 100 companies that offer only a 401k or similar plan and no traditional or hybrid pension plan has been rocketing, too. In 1998, only 10 members offered just a 401k. That figure reached 27 by 2004, 53 by 2008, 63 by 2010 and 70 as of last year.