It used to be that after 40 years on the job, employees could count on two things: a gold watch and a good pension. But about 15 years ago, that began to change, as more and more employers abandoned pensions for defined contribution plans.

"Now it's more like maybe you get a gold-plated watch and hope you saved enough," said Jeff Feld, a principal at Alliance Pension Consultants in Northbrook, Ill.

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