The public pension and retirement 'schemes' are in considerable trouble (as we noted here and here) and now, according to a recent S&P study, private companies are at record levels of pension under-funding. Fiscal 2011 shows that the under-funded level for S&P 500 companies' defined pensions reached an epic $354.7 billion - an increase of over $100 billion from 2010 and surpassing the 2008 record of $308.4 billion - and OPEB under-funding reached $223.4 billion. An aggregate $578 billion or 29.5% underfunding or the $1.96 trillion in obligations is increasing as the rates of return are reduced thanks to yet more unintended consequences of the Fed's ZIRP and perhaps most worrying is there comment that "The American dream of a golden retirement for baby boomers is quickly dissipating; plans have been reduced and the burden shifted with future retirees needing to save more for their retirement. For many baby-boomers it may already be too late to safely build-up assets, outside of working longer or living more frugally in retirement."
S&P 500 Pension Underfunding Compared to Market Levels