A growing financial crisis for older people

Michael Hiltzik's column, titled Bankruptcy is hitting more older Americans, pointing to a retirement crisis in the making, surveys a new report about the growing number of bankruptcies filed by older people. One reason for this trend is that retired workers generally no longer have company-paid pensions. He notes that

a sizable percentage of American workers were [in the past] covered by corporate defined-benefit pensions, producing what retirement experts have called “a brief golden age” when many American workers could retire with confidence. Over the last few decades, however, confidence in that safety net has ebbed. Defined-benefit plans have given way to defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s, which saddle workers with all the risk of investment market downturns — and in which wealthier workers are overrepresented, both in enrollment rates and balances.

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