Correlation: No pension == no loyalty?

Had a fascinating conversation with Chuck the other day, where he said:

The best thing that ever happened to me is when they cut out my pension

This got me thinking: Today, if you're lucky you have some employer-matching, tax-deferred retirement plan, like a 401(k), 403(b), SIMPLE, ABC-XYZ-Dooflatchie. These plans are all portable--quit or get laid-off, and you take the money with you.

From a corporate perspective, this moves legacy costs off the books. once you've contributed to the plan, your obligation ends, and the employee and the servicing company (say, Fidelity or Vanguard) handle the rest. This is A Good Thingtm.

But, is there an unintended side effect? Does this make employees more willing to move when tough times hit.

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