100 CEOs Have $4.9B in Retirement Savings

That's equal to the nest eggs of 50M US families
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2015 3:00 PM CDT
100 CEOs Have $4.9B in Retirement Savings

When you add them together, the 100 biggest CEO retirement accounts are equal to the retirement savings of 50 million American families, CNBC reports. According to a new report from the Center for Effective Government and Institute for Policy Studies, each of those 100 CEOs has an average of $49.3 million saved for retirement at a time when the median 401(k) account for a US worker held, as of 2013, less than $20,000. “This CEO-to-worker retirement gap is a lot bigger than the pay gap and one more indicator of the extreme level of inequality that is really tearing the country apart,” the report’s co-author tells Bloomberg. CNBC reports employer-sponsored retirement plans are disappearing. And according to Bloomberg, a number of the 100 CEOs with the largest retirement accounts head companies that have cut retirement benefits for employees.

CNBC reports those 100 CEOs will average a monthly check of $277,686 in retirement. Meanwhile only 18% of private-sector employees even have access to a pension plan. According to Bloomberg, the CEO of Yum! Brands has the cushiest nest egg with $234.2 million in retirement savings. That's 3,300 times larger than the 401(k) of one of his employees—if they even have one (just a fraction do, per regulatory filings). Many of these CEO retirement accounts are so large because they're allowed to defer an unlimited amount of their salary tax-free. But regular employees are capped at around $20,000 per year into their 401(k)s. "These benefits weren’t originally intended to be huge wealth generators, but they’ve become that as CEO compensation has grown to 200 to 300 times what average workers make," one expert tells Bloomberg. "They’re harder to justify as companies have abandoned worker pensions." (Read more CEO compensation stories.)

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