Labor editor’s note: A while back, cost-cutting employers began promoting stock market-based 401(k) plans as an alternative to pensions with defined benefits. Many of these 401(k) plans took a bath when the stock market dipped, so it’s no surprise that today workers have serious doubts about relying on the stock market to take care of them in their old age. In the spirit of April 1, the PWW offers the following plan, re-printed from an Internet message, to the retirement security debate.

If you had purchased $1,000 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49. With Enron, you would have had $16.50 left of the original $1,000. With WorldCom, you would have had less than $5 left. But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling refund, you would have had $214.

Based on the above, current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.

It’s called the 401-Keg Plan.