According to recent analysis by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a leading global consulting firm, defined benefit pension plans tend to have higher rates of return than 401(k) plans.

In 2006, the most recent year where U.S. Department of Labor statistics were available, the median rate of return was 12.9% for a defined benefit plan whereas the median rate of return was 11.3% for 401(k) plans. Long term analysis also confirms this trend.

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