The Next Scrambled Nest Egg?

Companies are struggling to meet their pension-plan obligations, and Washington is starting to worry. How your retirement plan could be at risk

Former United Airlines marketing analyst Mark Boyle hasn't worked at the struggling air carrier for 10 years, but every time United's latest woes hit the evening news, he warily pays heed. About a tenth of his family's nest egg--money earmarked for his and his wife's retirement, not to mention college tuition for their two teenage children--is supposed to come from Boyle's United Airlines pension. But that potential income is in jeopardy as his former employer tries to reorganize in bankruptcy court. "I watch," says Boyle, 45, "but there's nothing you can do"--except worry.

Watchful worry is the only option for 34...

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