I just want to point out that to compare the 2 is like compareing apples to oranges. Corporations now want you to go the 401k route--maybe matching the 1st couple %. But the earliest one can withdrawl without major penalty is 59 1/2. Now I am in c/s pension fund & we all know the fund is hurting; but there is a slight chance I could retire from ups at age 47 & do something else (P/T, slower pace, etc). I cannot see myself delivering when I'm in my 60's (UGH), Lord willing, I'll be outta browns in my early 50's. I feel retirement is realistic in our 50's if we are frugal & use a combination of investments--SS,pension,stock,401k.