“Who killed pensions? Can they be resurrected?

A few decades ago, pensions were almost taken for granted by both public and private employees. They promised that people who worked a specified number of years for one employer would receive a certain amount each month, for life, after they retired. That amount was usually based on their income in the years before retirement.

Today, pensions are almost dead in corporate America — at least for new employees. They live on in government jobs, sometimes protected by state constitutions. But Detroit’s bankruptcy has put its benefits in doubt after a judge said federal law could override the state Constitution. And given that some states and municipalities appear to have promised more than they can conceivably afford, it seems likely that some of those promises will be broken and that courts will find ways to allow that.” -New York Times

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