Edwin Johnson '51, a graduate and longtime friend of Gettysburg College, passed away on Aug. 23. His contributions are remembered in an Aug. 30 Bloomberg article and a September 3 Philadelphia Inquirer article.
Edwin Johnson, ‘Godfather’ of 401(k) Retirement Plan, Dies at 82
Edwin T. Johnson, who led the employee-benefits consulting firm often credited with creating the first 401(k) plan, the workplace-based savings program that today accounts for $3.4 trillion in retirement savings, has died. He was 82.
He died on Aug. 23 at his home in Newtown, Pennsylvania, according to a death notice from Swartz/Givnish Funeral Home in Newtown. The cause was prostate cancer, which he battled for 22 years.
Johnson was founder and chief executive officer of the Johnson Cos., a benefits consulting firm in Newtown that played a key, early role in refashioning retirement savings in the 1980s when defined-benefit pension plans declined in popularity. While an employee of his, Ted Benna, became known as the father of the 401(k), Johnson “was its godfather,” the trade publication Pensions & Investments wrote in a 2001 profile.
The Philadelphia Inquirer story can be read here.