Defined benefit pension plans became pretty much a thing of the past in the late 80's. Many of them were overfunded. Companies distcontinued the pensions, bought annuities for the participating employees, and took the excess cash. They found it cheaper to provide defined contribution plans; i.e., 401(k)'s. Our company did that.
Those people who have had pension plans for the past 20 years are the minority. It is not new for a company to discontinue the pension plan.
I never thought of it as necessarily a bad thing. My husband and I came out probably ahead of the game with our 401(k)'s.
In fact, I think the government should do this to their employees to save money for the taxpayers.