Social Security: The Really Troubled Program

The nation's private pension system is sinking fast

Social Security isn't the only retirement program in line for a makeover. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, saying "our country must act now," outlined bold plans to shore up the nation's ailing private pension system last week. She's walking a fine line between restoring its health and scaring companies out of the programs altogether. Among the tough measures she has proposed: a 58% hike in insurance premiums that private pension sponsors must pay. The Bush Administration also suggested a seven-year deadline for all pensions to be fully funded and called for even stiffer premiums for companies whose plans are in the worst...