Less than twenty years ago, I worked for a corporate foundation the parent company of which had offices in the Boston metro area, where I happened to be living. They were kind enough to give me office space there instead of insisting I move to the foundation’s headquarters in The Big Apple. I had the opportunity to hobnob with the regional management and sales team who were often second generation employees. The general manager of the office was about to retire. The company gave generous pensions to those whose age and number of years working added up to 80. He was fifty-five and had worked for the company for twenty-five years. You do the math–he was off to the golf course or a second career.
I am 57, and by my calculations if I’m alive and employable will most certainly have to be in the work force until I’m 75–at least. Even before the recession this was more or less true. Although companies were profitable then, these benefits are perceived as unreasonably generous now–what happened?