Will Saletan makes a dumb point:
As the latest Reuters report notes, over the last four decades, U.S. life expectancy has climbed from 70.8 to 77.8 years. By 2015, it’s on track to hit 79.2 years. Meanwhile, unlike other industrialized democracies, the United States has replaced pensions with 401(k) plans. So your retirement-income pie can suddenly shrink—as, for example, it’s doing right now—and, at the same time, the longevity you’ve gained from all this lovely industrialization requires you to carve that pie into more and more annual pieces.
Apparently, we should prefer the certainty of pensions — these being the pensions that are bankrupting both industry and the nation. These being the pensions that are almost guaranteed to be slashed and hacked to the bone to balance budgets.
Sorry, Will, I’ll salt my 403b into more conservative investments before I become a ward of either the state or my employer. I’ll trust my income to the vagaries of the market before I trust it to the inflationary vagaries of politics.