They're supposed to be the golden years. The years we all look forward to after decades on the job. But more and more people are facing the reality there may not be anything to look forward to. It all centers around the fact that many companies are getting rid of their pension plans. We saw it just last month when IBM said it would stop contributing to its company pension plan affecting 113,000 workers. While they're certainly not the first to do it, the announcement is an eye opener for anyone relying on a company pension. What we found out is that traditional pension plans are underfunded by some $450 billion. The latest statistics from 2004 from the consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide shows 71 Fortune 500 companies have frozen or terminated their pension plans. Financial experts say there are a few simple steps to take to help protect yourself now before your company pension plan faces the same fate: Contribute the maximum amount of money to your 401K, open a Roth IRA, and eliminate credit card debt. You can click on the following link for more great information about your company pension plan, how it's guaranteed, and to see if it is insured.