Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Top CEOs' retirement equal to more than 40% of Americans

Retirement security is a top concern of everyday Americans. That's because they know all too well the consequences of it.

CEOs aren't facing retirement cuts like some workers.

A new report details the wide gulf that exists in retirement savings. The document, released today by the Center for Effective Government and the Institute for Policy Studies, shows that 100 CEOs have as much in company retirement assets as the entire retirement savings of 41 percent of American families.

The average worth of the 100 largest CEO retirement accounts is about $49.3 million. David Novak of YUM Brands -- the parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC -- had the largest company-paid retirement package at $234 million.

Sarah Anderson, director of the Institute for Policy Studies' Global Economy Project, said the report details yet another symptom of the nation's growing income inequality problem:

The CEO-worker retirement divide has turned our country’s already extreme income divide into an even wider economic chasm. And what few realize is that the trends of expanding CEO pensions and increasing worker retirement insecurity are inextricably linked.

The percentage of private sector workers covered by a defined benefit pension that guarantees monthly payments has dropped from 35 percent in the early 1990s to 18 percent last year. And nearly half of all U.S. workers had no access to any retirement plan at work.

That's unacceptable. That's why the Teamsters have been at the forefront of fighting excessive CEO compensation. The union pushed hard for the Securities Exchange Commission to institute the CEO pay ratio rule approved under Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation passed in 2010, and protested the pay and retirement package of McKesson CEO John Hammegren while the company provided substandard wages and health benefits to employees in Florida.

We also included retirement security as one of its planks in the Teamster's "Let's Get America Working" platform that sets out a path to improve the lives of workers across the country. Because if the U.S. is to succeed, all of those participating in the economy need to get a piece of the pie.

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