Back in 1979 fifty percent of American workers retired with a pension, but recent data show that currently less than twenty percent of American workers retire with a pension. So you are retired and you are one of the few lucky Americans to have a company pension that you expect to be paid to you monthly for the rest of your life, right – not so fast !
Retirement Heist by Ellen Schultz discusses how a little over a decade ago most companies had more than enough money set aside to pay for pensions and retiree health coverage, but in recent years employers have cut pensions while exaggerating their retiree burdens and lobbying the government for handouts.
Ms Schultz tells story after story about how companies siphon money from their pension plans to finance downsizing, hide their growing executive pension liabilities and purchase life insurance on workers without their knowing it then collecting tax free death benefits when retirees die.
I really enjoyed this book, it was a quick read, but boy did it piss me off. There is something fundamentally wrong with big corporations taking advantage of their retirees who worked long and hard for the company. It doesn’t surprise me that when people ponder whether or not the country is headed in the wrong direction most answer yes it is. This is a good example of why.