For Retirement Security: Get a Pension

Here is how to get your retirement plan back on track in 2009

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Simply finding a job in 2009 will be challenging for many people. “But if you can, seek an employer offering a traditional pension,” advises Beth Almeida, executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security. “Pensions offer what Americans are looking for: the security and peace of mind of a regular monthly check that lasts as long as you do with payments continuing to your spouse even after you're gone. It’s a much better solution than on your own retirement that is subject to the wild volatility of the financial markets and can run out.” The average pension and annuity income for retirees over age 50 was $16,989 in 2007, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Public sector pensions were considerably higher, averaging $23,721, while the typical private sector worker got $12,721. If you add Social Security and a little bit of personal savings to those pension amounts, you should have a fairly comfortable retirement in most parts of the country.

More New Year's resolutions for retirement:

Delay retirement

Put off claiming Social Security

Get your 401(k) match

Avoid early withdrawals

Scrutinize 401(k) fees

Determine your risk tolerance

Rebalance your portfolio

Evaluate your target-date fund

Pay off your mortgage

Downsize

Bump up your contributions

More money-related New Year’s resolutions