WORKERS OF THE WORLD, MANAGE YOUR PENSIONS

The trend toward defined-contribution pension plans "underscores the need for employees to play an active, informed role in managing their own retirement investments," says Stephen Gould of Towers Perrin, management consultants. "Few employers today have meaningful retirement education programs."In a defined-contribution plan, the employer agrees to make a specific contribution to an employee's retirement plan, as opposed to plans that guarantee the level of benefits a retiree will receive. Of 300 large companies the firm analyzed, the number of defined-contribution plans rose to 365 in 1991 from 254 in 1982. The number of defined-benefit plans fell from 292 in 1982 to 283 this year. (Companies may have more than one plan.)

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