COLLEGE-BOUND TEENS RECONSIDER PLANS

Colorado Springs, Colo. - Nearly two thirds of teens are changing their college plans due to the economy, according to a new survey by Junior Achievement and Allstate, which found that 63 percent of the 1,000 teenagers polled had changed their plans because of the economy, up from 55 percent last year. Of the 63 percent whose college plans have changed, 41 percent are working more to pay for college, 37 percent are staying closer to home or are not attending college out of state, 21 percent plan on going to a community college and 15 percent may delay school for one year or longer.

An overwhelming majority of teens - 90 percent - report that they and their families are saving for college. However, a quarter haven't determined how they will pay for college. Interestingly, 86 percent of teens say they plan on getting college scholarships. Yet only 66 percent of all undergraduates received some type of financial aid in 2007-08, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

EMPLOYERS TO KEEP CHANGES IN RETIREMENT PLANS

New York - The majority of employers who made changes to their retirement plans during the economic downturn expect to keep those changes in place throughout 2010, according to a new survey by Bucks Consultants. Results showed that 77 percent of employers with traditional defined-benefit pension plans and 52 percent of employers with defined-contribution plans, such as 401(k)s, will not reverse changes or are uncertain if they will reverse previous changes. The study analyzes responses from nearly 200 organizations across a wide range of industries.

The most common changes employers made to DB plans were to freeze participants' benefits at their current levels (68 percent of plans covering salaried employees) and to close the plan to new employees (32 percent of plans). Twenty-four percent of respondents made changes to their DC plans in 2009. The most common change was to reduce employer contributions.

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