For the first time, the majority, 55%, of Fortune 100 companies now offer new salaried employees only a defined contribution plan, according to Watson Wyatt. This is up from 46% at the end of 2007.

And even among the 45 companies that offer a defined benefit plan, 23 had a hybrid plan than combines elements of a 401(k).

“We’re entering a new world for retirement benefits,” said Alan Glicksteni, a senior retirement consultant at Watson Wyatt. “New and younger employees will be the first generation to rely on 401(k) plans exclusively for their retirement savings. It’s a big burden for them to carry, as recent events have made all too clear.”

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.