I’ve just returned from the latest CORPaTH Crystal Globe Awards & Banquet. Kudos to Ron Auer, Jacques Loveall, and everyone else associated with this tremendous organization. For those of you who may not know about CORPaTH, their mission is to protect, promote, and perpetuate defined benefit pensions. As followers of KCS know, CORPaTH’s mission is very much like ours, as KCS was established to help retirement plan sponsors address the challenges impacting their plans and ultimately, their participants with the goal to protect and preserve defined benefit plans as the primary retirement vehicle.
It is incredibly important to understand that promoting, protecting, and preserving/perpetuating defined benefit plans doesn’t mean holding onto the status quo without regard. There is tremendous inertia in our industry, but there are many individuals and organizations that continue to challenge the status quo in an attempt to help sustain these critically important plans. The CORPaTH conference presented an agenda filled with folks willing to share new ideas to help in this effort. We will report on some of those in coming blog posts.
The challenges to preserving these plans are many, but if pension plans are to be maintained, we must all work together to identify strategies that will help insure that the promised benefits are paid and at costs that are controllable for the sponsors. Lastly, the solution can’t be a defined contribution plan for the masses, as history (40 years now) has shown that these offerings truly only benefit higher income participants, who can afford to contribute a meaningful sum that will insure a dignified retirement.