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Institute for Policy Studies

Report Info

  • Released November 27, 2012

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A Pension Deficit Disorder: The Massive CEO Retirement Funds and Underfunded Worker Pensions at Firms Pushing Social Security Cuts

This report analyzes the retirement policies of the U.S. corporations leading the “Fix the Debt” campaign, which is calling for reduced spending on senior citizens’ benefits as part of a deal on the national debt.

A Pension Deficit Distorder

A major player in the national debt debate, the “Fix the Debt” campaign, is arguing that cuts to Social Security and Medicare are necessary to avoid economic disaster. Meanwhile, the corporations leading this campaign are contributing to Americans’ retirement insecurity by funneling enormous sums into their CEO retirement accounts while underfunding their employee pension funds.

Key findings:

  • The 71 Fix the Debt CEOs who lead publicly held companies have amassed an average of $9 million in their company retirement funds. A dozen have more than $20 million in their accounts. If each of them converted their assets to an annuity when they turned 65, they would receive a monthly check for at least $110,000 for life.
  • The Fix the Debt CEO with the largest pension fund is Honeywell’s David Cote, a long-time advocate of Social Security cuts. His $78 million nest egg is enough to provide a $428,000 check every month after he turns 65.
  • Forty-one of the 71 companies offer employee pension funds. Of these, only two have sufficient assets in their funds to meet expected obligations. The rest have combined deficits of $103 billion, or about $2.5 billion on average. General Electric has the largest deficit in its worker pension fund, with $22 billion. 

Read the full report (PDF)

View the last IPS report on the CEO 'Fix' the Debt Campaign

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