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It’s Time to Ponder Your Pension Plans

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The recent attempt by Kevyn Orr, Detroit's emergency manager, to reduce city worker pensions by 84 percent is the most dramatic example of a crisis facing public employees across the country.

Nor is the private sector immune, as thousands of miners discovered after Patriot Coal Corp. declared bankruptcy last year. The settlement reached between the United Mine Workers and parent company Peabody Energy 15 months later covers only one-quarter of retirees' health-care benefits.