The retirement-income system in the average American household can be described as a three-legged combination of private and government savings. The first leg includes Social Security and other government welfare programs designed for the elderly. The second is individual savings. This leg includes IRA's, savings accounts and stock and bond portfolios, among other things. The final leg includes Privately-sponsored pension plans (Schmitt, 1993). In simplest terms, there exist two types of pension plans in the United States: defined-contribution and defined-benefit. For general information --as well as later discussion --we will now define both.
Richards '96, Jason C., "The Role of the PBGC in Pension Guarantees: An analysis of efficiency and effectiveness" (1996). Honors Projects. Paper 8.