This story is cross-posted from the AFL-CIO Now blog:
A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies shows that the CEOs who make up the "Fix the Debt" campaign sit on massive retirement funds of their own while calling for the retirement programs that working families rely on to be cut as part of a deficit-reduction package. Furthermore, those same CEOs have been shortchanging pension funds for working families at the corporations they run.
(Visit www.aflcio.org/ProtectOurFuture for all the information you need on the upcoming budget showdown.)
The Fix the Debt campaign is made up of more than 90 corporate chief executive officers who are advocating for a deal to reduce the national deficit and debt by reducing earned benefit programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. At the same time, they are advocating for massive corporate tax cuts.
In "A Pension Deficit Disorder: The Massive CEO Retirement Funds and Underfunded Worker Pensions at Firms Pushing Social Security Cuts," authors Sarah Anderson and Scott Klinger found that the 71 Fix the Debt CEOs who run public companies have average retirement assets of $9.1 million.
Of those, 54 take part in their own company's retirement programs, averaging more than $12 million in assets. That could translate into a pension check of $65,873 each month for life. The average monthly check for Social Security recipients is $1,237.
Of the 71 public Fix the Debt companies, only 41 have employee pension funds. Of those 41, only two have the funds to meet their expected obligations. The other 39 have underfunded their pensions by an average of $2.5 billion, for a total of $103 billion. As Anderson and Klinger say in their report: "Although they have not remedied their own internal pension fund debts, the Fix the Debt CEOs say they have the solution for our national debt problems, which would include cuts to Social Security and Medicare."