Business: Pensions: Pitfalls in the Fine Print

IN the Depression '30s, a lanky South Dakota doctor named Francis Townsend won the backing of millions of elderly Americans with his plan for $200-a-month pensions for everyone over 60. Today his scheme, which most economists once dismissed as a crackpot idea, seems almost conservative. It has been upstaged by a combination of Social Security and private pension plans that offer retirement income to workers as a matter of course. Still, the difference between plans and payoffs is often painful. Many of those who lost their jobs during last year's recession and this...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!