Morton M. Grodzins who was a professor of political science at the University of Chicago is credited with coining the term “tipping point”. Malcolm Gladwell later popularized the term in his 2000 bestselling book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. In common parlance, the term is applied to any process in which beyond a certain point, the rate at which the process proceeds increases dramatically.

Have defined benefit pension plans reached that point now with the announcement that Fidelity has made the decision to eliminate its pension plan for roughly 32,000 of its employees?

While other healthy companies have been freezing or terminating their pension plans, Fidelity’s decision is significant. The giant investment company has been a visible player in corporate America’s transition from defined benefit pension plans to defined contribution plans. Will this encourage more companies to place the responsibility of retirement on their employees?