Social Security is safe through 2041 or longer. It's private sector pension funds that are in trouble. With the swooning stock markets, they were left with depreciating paper. The major pension funds have lost 40% of their value since March 2000. "Defined contribution" plans rise and fall with the market. By contrast, public sector plans have "defined benefits", are cheaply run, and are guaranteed by state or federal authorities. In older corporations like GM and Boeing the value of the pension fund is far larger than that of the sponsoring company. Most large private plans are now badly underfunded and many businesses face bankruptcy because they cannot meet their pension benefit obligations. At the close of 2002 these included Campbell Soup, Maytag, Lucent, GM, Ford, Goodyear, Boeing, US Steel and Colgate Palmolive.