They were never designed to replace pensions, but thanks to loopholes in ERISA, that is just what many private companies did.
Now people bitch about public employees still having pensions, but they never did a goddamned thing back in the 1980s, when the shit savings plans began to take hold.
I was railing against them for years, and I was right.
In an article published by the Wall Street Journal this week, the creators of the 401(k) reflected on the consequences of the product they promoted. The takeaway: many of the early advocates of 401(k)s now regret the “revolution” they helped to start. As you know if you are a regular reader of this blog, 401(k)s were never designed to be the primary retirement savings vehicle for working families. They were supposed to be a supplement to retirement savings through Social Security and a defined benefit pension. Gerald Facciani, a former head of the American Society of Pension Actuaries, lays it out: “The great lie is that the 401(k) was capable of replacing the old system of pensions.”
Those of us women who didn't prostitute ourselves by getting married will likely have to work until we die.