[Excerpt] The retirement security of working families is under attack as never before. Many financial firms have overtly or covertly supported recent efforts to privatize Social Security and to convert traditional defined benefit pensions to 401(k)-style plans. For some firms that could gain financially from converting retirement systems, such support creates a conflict of interest with many clients concerned about preserving secure retirement programs.
Some companies have directly backed initiatives that threaten retirement security. For example, Charles Schwab and Wachovia both belong to the pro-privatization lobby, the Alliance for Worker Retirement Security. Citigroup donated $100,000 to Citizens to Save California, which has championed the proposal to outlaw traditional public pensions in California.