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Abstract

Designed to provide security and equity to defined benefit (DB) pension plans, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) became law in 1974. Since that time, the economy has shifted to a more globalized, non-unionized, service-based environment, where defined contribution (DC) plans replaced DB plans as the dominant type of private pension plan. Today workers and retirees bear the burden of managing their pension plans and the associated risks. To protect Americans against the financial risks they face in retirement and ensure greater economic security in old age, targeted financial education, research, and fundamental pension policy reform are required.

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