Monday, November 14, 2011

Jon Stewart Interview: How Your Employer Is Screwing Your Pension Fund

An assortment of United States coins, includin...
Image via Wikipedia

From Denny:  Ellen Schultz, an investigative reporter, discovered that Big Business has taken the private pension plans for millions of workers - to the tune of 44 million people - and, instead, "turned them into profit centers for their companies."  As a result, the plans are severely underfunded. 

Did you know that as recently as 10 years ago, these same retirement plans were so flush with cash that they   experienced a quarter of a trillion dollar surplus?  

How did they drain that surplus? Big Business did the following:

* siphoned off money to use for restructuring (got rid of older workers)

* used the funds to pay their high level executives parachute monies when they left the company.  This can be done "legally" by taking advantage of tricky loop holes thanks to our corrupt idiot Congress.

* sold off MNA deals (where you could sell a unit and sell them some of the extra pension)

When buying a company you buy the pension fund as well.  Then you get another $500 million extra by only paying just seven cents on the dollar for that.  Talk about a scam.

What it amounts to is that the business does not pay the pensioner what they thought they would get, paying them less. And the extra money goes to the profit line for the business.

Because of all the terrible legislation enacted that allowed this legalized business scam - for which the average worker had no voice or control - they took healthy pension plans and destroyed them.

Of course, now the businesses are suddenly complaining about the cost of retirees when the real question should be:  When are these guys going to jail for running these schemes?

Did you also know that while businesses were slashing the average guy's pension plan they were boosting the pension plans for the CEOs and executives to record high levels?

Why has President Obama and Congress not investigated the obvious corruption here?  Businesses have deceived their employees and deceived Congress. They actually went so far as to tell Congress they needed all these loop holes because it would "safeguard retirement security."  You have got to be kidding me.

Check out the GE Executive Pension Fund.  Guess how much they have poured into that fund?  Yeah, try $6 BILLION.  Companies like this freeze the plans for the average worker yet continue with these high paying funds for the executives.  That's why we see some CEOs retire with a cool $100 million.

They are also taking out life insurance policies on millions of workers and using them to finance executive pension funds.  Why is it an employee does not get a choice about who takes out an insurance policy on their life?  

Nestle, Walmart, Disney all take out life insurance policies on their employees.  Millions of people do not realize there is a policy taken out on them by the company.  What an invasion of privacy and personal freedom yet to be challenged in the courts.

It operates like a giant tax shelter for the company.  When the employees or ex-employees or retirees die, the death benefit goes tax free to the company.  What a scam.  

Who has to manufacture or even sell a product any more when you can make money off the deaths of your employees?  It's time for Congress to outlaw this practice.   

Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers


Author Ellen Schultz wrote "Retirement Heist" which details how your employer can screw you out of your own pension fund - legally.

Monday October 17, 2011

Ellen Schultz

Investigative reporter Ellen Schultz talks about how corporations deliberately deceived their employees and Congress to profit from workers' pensions.