A Tale of Two Retirements

October 28th, 2015  |  Source: For Effective Government.org

The retirement assets of CEOs at our largest corporations have exploded while the rest of us wonder when or if we’ll be able to retire.
A Tale of Two Retirements, released this morning, found that the 100 largest CEO retirement accounts are worth a combined $4.9 billion.
That’s equal to the combined retirement accounts of 41 percent of American families.
The former CEO of YUM Brands has the largest retirement nest egg, with $234 million, enough to generate a monthly retirement check of $1,318,605. Hundreds of thousands of YUM Brands employees at Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC have no company retirement assets whatsoever.
When I was growing up, this level of inequality in America was unimaginable and would have been considered “un-American.” But over my adult life, the rules changed, and now we have two sets of rules - one for the wealthy and one for the rest of us. Here’s how they play out in retirement.
• The availability of pensions for workers has steadily declined over the last 30 years, yet more than half of Fortune 500 CEOs still receive company-sponsored pension plans.
• Ordinary workers face strict limits on how much pre-tax income they can invest each year in their 401(k) retirement plans, but top executives can shelter unlimited amounts of compensation in their retirement accounts.
These changes were not pre-ordained or inevitable. They were the result of choices by corporate boards and legislators. We can make different choices. We can write rules that protect and support working people. (Read our report to see changes that would ensure a dignified retirement for all Americans.)
But it won’t happen without you. Demand more. Expect more. Dream big. Together, we can create the future we want and deserve.

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