Melissa S.

I never knew much about pension plans to begin with, until my mom went back to work.  She was a stay at home mom for years when I was growing up.  Then when I was in high school, she went back to work after my dad lost his job.  And she went back to work in a local high school here as a teacher, and one of the benefits that they offer is, after a certain amount of years as a student aide in the school, she’ll be able to receive a pension plan.  And that’s something that she is looking to work towards, so she doesn’t want to leave or retire earlier, until she can receive those pension benefits.

My dad in the past two years has been through five jobs, just because of the economy and he couldn’t find a job.  He worked on Wall Street – he couldn’t find a job on Wall Street due to the financial crisis, so he’s taken a bunch of other odd jobs and he just finally just got a job back in the industry.  And so, for that we had to go through a lot of our savings, and a lot of my parents’ money that they had originally set aside for retirement had gone towards school and other necessities for me and my sister. 

If my dad had had that pension to look forward to in the future and that steady income, maybe that wouldn’t have affected how many years he has to continue to work.
You should be able to retire and be able to take care of yourself.  I mean…. You don’t want to leave that burden on younger members of your family.  When my parents retire, they don’t want to have the burden be on me. 

Until recently, I haven’t really thought about it.  This summer, I’ve been going through the job search process.  So during the process, one of the things all the firms stress is their benefits package, and one of the things is the 401k or the ability to have a pension plan.  I think going forward that would be something that I would definitely look for in future jobs. 

We never think about how much benefits actually cost now.  It’s definitely something that I think is more important to look at, not just how much in salary but the other benefits that the firm is offering as well. 

The company that I was helping to audit this summer, they actually did away with their pension plan as of last year.  And that’s something that I think more and more companies are doing.  I don’t think that many people my age are looking into that right now, but I know it’s definitely a concern. 

I don’t know the specifics of what Congress is doing about it, but I would hope that they doing something about it.