Defined-benefit pension plans have suddenly gained new support, with employers, unions, and benefits experts now talking up the pension model—which once was seen by many as relic of the past. Although defined-contribution plans have become the standard retirement benefit offered by most employers, recent events suggest that some may be taking a new look at defined-benefit pensions.

Forbes magazine announced a recent IBM decision to return to defined-benefit plans with prominent picture of a dinosaur. The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece with the headline: "Bring Back Corporate Pension Plans. Seriously." And Pensions and Investments asked: "Is renewed interest in DB plans real, or just a pipe dream?"

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