CNN.com posted my response to IBM's decision to contribute to employees' retirement funds only once a year.
"IBM looks better than most companies because most companies are whacking their workers' retirement plans or don't sponsor any at all. GM offered its salaried, white-collar workers a lump sum -- the worst way to get a retirement account because people spend a lump sum too fast -- instead of an annuity. Ford will follow GM's example next year. Fortunately, very few auto managers and workers are taking up such an offer; they must know an annuity is more valuable.
What is there to stop companies from ending retirement accounts altogether? Nothing.
Unions represent less than 11% of the private sector workforce and the unemployment rate is high enough that anyone who has a job feels lucky to have a job. I don't see anything on the horizon that will encourage companies to maintain or improve retirement programs at the workplace.
Political leadership and bravery is needed to call out the failure of the voluntary retirement system and to secure retirement income and savings for all American workers."