Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wealthy CEOs Want To Force Americans To Retire Later

The Business Roundtable, a group representing the CEOs of the largest corporations in the nation — including the biggest banks, retailers, and insurance companies — is calling to raise the retirement age to 70. The group argues that Social Security is no longer affordable and plans to lobby Congressional lawmakers and the administration for its plan:

An influential group of business CEOs is pushing a plan to gradually increase the full retirement age to 70 for both Social Security and Medicare and to partially privatize the health insurance program for older Americans. [...]

“America can preserve the health and retirement safety net and rein in long-term spending growth by modernizing Medicare and Social Security in a way that addresses America’s new fiscal and demographic realities,” said Gary Loveman, chairman, president and chief executive of casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corp.

Loveman, who chairs the Business Roundtable’s health and retirement committee, said the business leaders will be meeting with members of Congress and the administration to press them to enact their plan.

CEO’s representing an organization called “Fix the Debthave made the same argument. But the idea that Social Security is unaffordable for future generations is nonsense. The program can pay full benefits for decades, and nearly full benefits after that, with literally no changes. Minor tweaks — such as raising the payroll tax cap — can render the program solvent for three-quarters of a century. Social Security is also statutorily barred from adding to the federal deficit.

It’s particularly galling for wealthy CEOs to call for raising the retirement age, as they are among those who will be least affected by the change. Average CEO pay for S&P 500 companies is nearly $13 million. Recent increases in life expectancy have only benefited wealthier workers in non-physical jobs. Poorer workers doing physical labor have not seen the same gains and would be most hurt by an increase in the retirement age.

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