Employee Benefits in Extremis?

 Pensions, alas, on their way out?

    Defined Benefits collapsed when the going got tough,

    Defined Contributions were never enough.


    What’s left? Your House? A very bad bet.

    Something else instead? (Sigh) Not yet.

Private health plans, alas, out-priced the market?

    Actives “coverage” became a pale imitation.

    Retirees health plans died from cost escalation

    What then? The emergency room?

    “Health Reform” law may work, but it better be soon.

Medicare and Social Security, alas, will they last?

    We know they’re the law, and “public plans” for sure.

    But they’re pay-as-you-go, which is no long-term cure.

    Can the intergenerational compact endure?

    Prop them up with a VAT tax? Why not?

    We’ve just got to get cash flow back in the pot.

Benefits practitioners, what’s left?

    Qualified plans giving practitioners nightmares,

    And employee health plans escalating cost scares,

    Benefits practice can’t be a goldmine for firms,

    When it’s clearly become such a bucket of worms.

    Alas, what's left? -- Executive Comp?

    With 409A it’s no longer a romp.

    The practice having been trashed, mashed, stripped of cash, and bashed,

    Fired, unhired, retired, almost expired.

Time for a vacation? Who needs these lashes?

Or is there a Phoenix lurking in the ashes?

-- Frank Cummings