CEOs pushing Social Security Cuts Enjoy Gold-Plated Retirement Plans


November 26, 2013

Most Americans reject slashing Social Security benefits, but that hasn’t stopped well-funded lobbyists on Capitol Hill from continuing to push Congress to make Social Security cuts.


One of the most visible lobbying groups, Fix the Debt – a D.C.-based PR campaign financed by more than 135 chief executives – has been the loudest, calling for raising the retirement age and reducing benefits for existing retirees.

But as Sarah Anderson at reports, most of those same executives won’t be joining working families in sacrificing their retirement security.

“Fix the Debt CEO Council members Jeffrey Immelt of GE, Larry Merlo of CVS Caremark and Randall Stephenson of AT&T are … sitting on nest eggs worth more than $50 million each,” she writes.

Anderson, the director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, is the author of a new report, “Platinum-Plated Pensions: The Retirement Fortunes of CEOs Who Want to Cut Your Social Security,” that details the hypocrisy of some of America’s wealthiest men demanding everyone else make do with less in retirement.

The Business Roundtable, corporate America’s leading lobbyist organization, has been the most aggressive in calling for raising the Social Security retirement age to 70.

This could result in suffering for millions of workers age 60 and over, but it wouldn’t be any skin off Business Roundtable’s leaders’ backs, Anderson writes.

Of the nearly 200 Business Roundtable CEOs, 168 lead U.S.-based publicly held corporations. Ten of these chief executives (including four who are also members of Fix the Debt) have corporate retirement plans valued at more than $50 million.

For an increasing number of Americans, Social Security is their main source of retirement income.

Only 15 percent of private-sector workers have a pension plan (down from 40 percent in 1980), while 75 percent of workers nearing retirement have less than $300,000 in their 401(k).

“With tens of millions of people more financially stressed as they approach retirement … Social Security is rapidly becoming the only lifeline that millions of seniors have to keep their heads above water,” said Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in a speech calling for strengthening, not cutting, Social Security.

“We don’t build a future for our children by cutting basic retirement for their grandparents,” she said.

 Click here to tell your representative to say no to Social Security cuts. 


Photo used under a Creative Commons license from Flickr user Alliance for Retired Americans.