You've seen the headline, I got it AGAIN in the elevator on the way to work this morning: "CEOs push plan to raise full retirement age to 70"

I keep wondering WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE that are so aggressively advocating this prescription for our nations fiscal health.  Are they actuary's, economists, former public servants, fiscal savants?  So, I clicked around to find out more about this group of insightful CEO's.

What do they know that can so inform us about the merits of raising the retirement age?  Peek below the orange squiggly thingy and meet two of them...

There have been some good diaries on it including ones by Mark Andersen and Joan McCarter here and here which focus on how hard it would be for a lot of us to actually physically work until 70. Here's a closer look at exactly who these people are that are lobbying congress on your behalf...  

The two men below chair the Business Roundtable's Health and Retirement Committee and have been busy writing Op-Eds, giving interviews and advocating for the "Modernization" of our pricey "Entitlements".

Aside from their concern about the nation's fiscal health, these two public company CEO's have at least two things in common.  They each have made more than $50 Million in three years overseeing their big corporations, AND, neither has to worry about working until age 70.

Gary Loveman
Chairman, President & CEO,
Caesars Entertainment Corporation

Gary Loveman believes so much in a secure retirement that his company doesn't offer a pension to the rank and file.  (But Gary who made $18.2MM in 2010 has already secured HIS defined benefit wouldn't you say?)  

So, how is that 401k plan at Ceasars?   Brightscope gives Ceasars 401k offering a "Poor" rating for generosity and "Below Average" for participation.  The average employee 401k account balance is $32,000.  (They only match .50 on each employee dollar up to 6% - Where's the LOVE MAN?)

Maybe Gary should sit down with his employees and see why they can't afford to contribute to his company's 401k plan. (Hint: I bet it's LOW PAY). Work on that Gary. Oh, and if not, we look forward to the speedy service from your 70 year old waitresses and black jack dealers in the "modernized" future.

Randall L. Stephenson
Chairman & CEO, AT&T Inc.

Randall's company, ATT, values their employees a bit more (but not as much as they value HIS leadership: $22MM in 2011).  Randall's ATT actually has a pension.  Unfortunately it is underfuned by $10 Billion!  Work on that. (Start with maybe less generous CEO "entitlements" and more appropriate employee benefit payments.)  

We should give Randall some extra credit though.  He is on the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts working from within "to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress" on their policy banning openly gay Scouts.  Based on progress he's made there it's not clear if he's spending too much time on the whole pension funding issue, or the fiscal hawk thing...

Your thoughts on how these guys qualify to prescribe their cure for your retirment ills?

7:26 PM PT: Oh Wow!  I posted, did some replies, then left for some exercise in the cold and Boom! The rec list!  Thanks!!  Long time reader, only my second post.  Great comments and thanks for giving me a positive vent for my outrage.  I live in a Red neighborhood, Red state.  It's nice to have this community.

ANOTHER UPDATE:  Great comment by zaka1

The debate needs to reframe to bringing the CEOs into the world of reality.  And quite frankly they need to understand that the 99% can't afford them anymore.
emphasis mine.

Thanks again.

Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 5:24 AM PT: Just wanted to highlight the great comment by zaka1.  Thanks again for the discussion.

Originally posted to wmac on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 12:19 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Community Spotlight.


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