It would be interesting to see how David M. Strauss views the new NationsBank cash balance plan which, as a Pensions & Investment story noted, blurs the line between defined benefit and defined contribution plans.
Mr. Strauss, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. executive director, has suggested amending ERISA to incorporate some 401(k) features into defined benefit plans to revive interest in traditional pension programs.
Ideas are fine, if they seek to foster more creativity. The pension market is too dynamic now to amend ERISA to another rigid structure, albeit with a little more flexibility, as Mr. Strauss has suggested.
NationsBank's new plan may or may not work as hoped for employees as well as the sponsor. But it would be best if it encourages more companies to experiment to improve private pension programs both from the employer and employee standpoint.