The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Bosses guarantee fat pensions for themselves, while workers' pensions disappear

Apr 14, 2003

The latest corporate tax filings show that corporations are moving to guarantee pensions – for their executives!

Delta Airlines, for example, set up a special retirement trust fund for 33 of its top executives last year. A similar deal was arranged for executives at the former Philip Morris company, at the parent company of United Airlines, at profitable Abbott Laboratories and at the now twice-bankrupt LTV Steel.

At LTV, the company shed all obligations to pay pensions to its thousands of employees, who have now seen their pensions cut by the PBGC (the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, funded by our tax dollars). Yet LTV had the money with which to set up a special trust for a top executive, guaranteeing him a pension no matter what condition the company was in.

Conseco, also in the bankruptcy courts, guaranteed a million and a half dollars per year to its chairman as a pension. How was this possible when the company is "bankrupt"? The corporation used a subsidiary to which it shifted the money, a subsidiary which is not in bankruptcy.

Don't tell us there's no money – it's just hidden. And the bosses know where it is!