Friday, November 21, 2008

Random House Freezes Pensions

Oh, here's some news that will surely make your morning. One of the best known divisions of one of the world's largest publishers, Random House, announced today that it's stopping contributions to its employees' pension plan.

On the surface, this news made me queasy. But then I stopped and thought: Really, who in this country even expects a pension anymore? Certainly independent publishers don't offer them. We've all been moving toward the 401(k) model and away from the idea of a pension. Hardly anyone stays at a company long enough to build up a pension, anyway. But I suppose that's cold comfort for the people nearing retirement age who were planning on theirs continuing to grow.

The AP article goes on to cite more instances of layoffs in the industry, as well as the latest gloomy wimper from B&N.

On the other hand, I was watching Good Morning America this morning while getting dressed and Mellody Hobson had a short list of companies that are hiring now. Borders was mentioned (seriously, buy books from them if you can--if they go under, we'll have only one major chain left). Also mentioned was FedEx, which has to pick up the slack from DHL's exit from the domestic shipping market (good news for my sister who works there; bad news for the 9,000 people who are being laid off from DHL).

Anyway, more bad news to keep us awake at night. I think I'll go drown my sorrows in our company's snack day festivities. Cheese balls, veggie trays, brownies, and more await!

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