CEOs: Raise retirement age to 70

A group of corporate executives thinks Americans should have to wait longer to get Social Security and Medicare. Guess the median retirement age for the nation's top CEOs.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 18, 2013 2:40PM

This post comes from Matthew Heimer at partner site MarketWatch.


MarketWatch logoIn the endless-loop battle over the federal deficit, whether and how to reduce spending on Social Security and Medicare remains one of the most combustible topics. The Business Roundtable, a group of more than 170 of the nation's chief executives, has now spelled out its own stance on entitlement reform, and its headline proposal is that Americans need to wait longer for retirement benefits.


Image: Social Security Card (© Scott Speakes/Corbis)Most notably, the group advocates raising the Medicare and Social Security eligibility ages to 70, up from the current 65 for Medicare and 66 or 67 for full benefits for Social Security.


The organization unveiled its position in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal penned by Gary Loveman, the CEO of Caesar's Entertainment. The magic number 70 wasn't in the editorial, but it appears in the more detailed version of the proposals on the Business Roundtable website.


The roundtable also backed means testing of entitlement benefits, creating private sector competition for Medicare and using so-called "chained CPI" to slow the annual inflation-adjusted growth of Social Security payouts.


The group doesn't specify a timetable for phasing in these reforms, and consequently it doesn't try to estimate how much they would save, but none would apply to anyone who's currently 55 or older. (Incidentally, the median age of CEOs of S&P 500 companies is . . . 55.)


The proposal to turn 70 into the new 65 is a shoot-the-moon expansion of the parameters of the entitlement debate. During the fiscal cliff negotiations, the White House briefly signaled a willingness to hike the Medicare eligibility age to 67, only to take the proposal off the table.

In the eyes of some critics, increasing the Medicare threshold ignores both medical realities and the hard facts of the job market. Many surveys show that most Americans would prefer to keep working to 70 or beyond. But, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (.pdf file), in practice the average man retires by age 64 and the average woman retires by age 62. For many, poor health is a factor in their decision to leave the workforce as early as they do; others leave the workforce involuntarily after layoffs.


Loveman, at least, seems to think these are minor hurdles. As he told Politico, "I am encouraged by how relatively easy these remedies really are." They undoubtedly seem easier to those whose pay averages $362,000 a year -- the median compensation for a private company CEO, according to Chief Executive magazine. (CEOs of larger, S&P 500 companies make much more, of course; Loveman has earned about $28 million over the past five years, according to Forbes.)


Snark at the expense of the 1% aside, in an ideal world, if the roundtable's proposal became law, it would be counterbalanced by a commitment from private sector employers to keep employing, training and, most importantly, insuring their employees for those additional three to five years. That would take some pressure off the federal budget without shifting the financial burden entirely to older workers. (Fingers crossed.)


More from MarketWatch and MSN Money:


Jan 18, 2013 3:48PM

Love seeing those 70  year old construction workers building those highrises or those 70 y/o limo, long distance bus and 18 wheelers drivers cruising down the road fully loaded up at full speed  and ready to rumble with the traffic. LOL

Lets keep these older folks on the job so these top 1%ers don't have to pay their fair share in taxes. Wonder how many of these (private) companies actually do matching fund in that 401k as they promised, much less offer a pension plan that pays more than 300 dollars per month?

Wonder if they will be keeping that 69 y/o mail room guy for another year? LOL

Love seeing those 691/2 year old cleaners cleaning those offices or doing landscaping breathing in those toxic fumes, crippled up with arthritis and respiratory problems.

Nothing like having that 69 year old nanny or household servant working away and running after those small kids. Keeps them active and engaged you know. LOL

Nothing like that 69 y/o firefighter, policeperson on the beat, teacher in the classroom, nurse in the hospital trying to lift those patients twice her size.

Wonder what will happen when the youngsters get out of college and start job hunting, what then, wait for a job to open up when that company employee turns 70?

Anyhoo, it is probably ok to have these older folks retire at an earlier age and starve between that age and 70 before they receive their Social Security pension that they paid their monies into all their work lives.

Solution to Social Security .... everyone must pay into it including the folks in Congress who should not have a different pension plan like they do now. All wages should be subject to FICA . There should be no cut off at the top end like there is now.

Anyway, why bother , these polititians are going to do what they chose to do to suit themselves and their donors anyway as they are not the ones being negatively affected by the policies that they put forth.

We can afford to spend billions and trillions on wars and rebuilding other countries trying to impress whomever, yet to do anything to benefit the masses in the USA.. it is a no go. LOL

As they say.... whatevvva....

Jan 18, 2013 4:21PM
What a joke.  A shining example of the 1% losing touch with reality.  Let's not pull back the corporate welfare or a thousand other worthy spending cuts, let's make Grandma and Grandpa who've been forced to pay into the system for 50 or so years wait just a little longer to retire.   Of course when it comes time to employ and insure these 65 year olds watch every one of these CEOs run for cover.  He says "I am encouraged by how relatively easy these remedies really are.".  Of course they're easy when you don't have to play any part in the solution.  How about this instead, let's cap all CEO pay to $200,000 per year and put all of their eligible bonus money in a fund for the elderly.  Wow!  I can't believe how easy that solution was!
Jan 18, 2013 4:08PM
Same old trick, raise the age and dupe more out of benefits because so many die before they can get a dime.
Jan 18, 2013 4:22PM
The CEOs who make (not earn) multi- generational wealth, and lay off workers to increase their bonus (tied to reduced expenses and shareholder value) and retire rich at 55 think later retirement age is the answer. Deport them to hades.  Explain the math to me that makes working to 70 possible- how do you extend everyone's retirement age to 70, asking them to work longer when jobs are disappearing, and age discrimination is rampant. Not everyone is healthy enough to work until 70? Know any roofers or ditch diggers working at 70 yrs of age? Additionally, you just kept a younger person out of the job market for another five years which further erodes society in many ways.
Jan 18, 2013 4:09PM

Right, screw them rich batards.  They can work till 70 cause of the millions they make off of us saps.  Them people are socicalpaths.  They care about themselves only.  How about we just take the cap off of medicare and ss earnings and let them pay on all of their income just like we do.  additionally lets do away with capital gains and tax it as normal income and put all that towards social security and medicare.  additonally anyone who has a retirement income greater than $250k annually gets no entitlement to social security nor medicare.  Here is your ticket to society you rich asses.  Now payup!  what nerve, sounds just like congress too.....

Jan 18, 2013 4:36PM
I smell a CEO BBQ in the near future. They won't be the guests.
Jan 18, 2013 4:20PM
It takes the rich to tell us poor folks we need to work more. Their idea kills us.
Jan 18, 2013 4:12PM
Just goes to show how much money these companies are making off the inflated healthcare premiums they charge us.  They want us to pay the extortion money for another 5 years.  Another profit center for the rich.
Jan 18, 2013 4:32PM
screw them and reduce their outlandish salaries they now have by screwing all the people that work for them. Greedy dip shi_s.
Jan 18, 2013 4:26PM

"a commitment from private sector employers to keep employing, training and, most importantly, insuring their employees for those additional three to five years".


I'm sure we can all trust the employers to honor that commitment, aren't you ?

Is there no end to the arrogance of the rich elite ?

Jan 18, 2013 4:59PM

Everyone knows this is really stupid.  It's all about 78,000,000 baby boomers (and I'm one of them) retiring at the rate of 10,000 per day.  One would have logically thought that 20 years ago, SOMEONE would have done an actuarial study, and way back when, would have proposed a slight increase in the tax...for social security 6.2% to say 6.4% and Medicare from 1.45% to let's say 1.60%.  It would have been a small price to pay compared to this Bull Crap.  What a bunch of duh heads.

Jan 18, 2013 4:40PM

Next up: Slavery as an answer to the heartbreak of making those payrolls.

Jan 18, 2013 4:13PM
good way to start a spring rising in america isnt it.....coming soon to American Spring Rising, the Rich recommend the paupers work till 70, starts an uprising in America.  guess them americans are as stupid as they act....
Jan 18, 2013 4:38PM

It figures it comes from the CEO that banks every year on bonuses alone.... UNREAL of course they do

not ever have to worry about money they are way OVERPAID as it is....

Jan 18, 2013 4:40PM
Let's keep workers poor and scared so that these guys can have more.

I am surprised they did not put up the solution that was in the movie Logon's Run. And that was to just kill everyone when they hit the age of 30 so they could always have young people to the dirty work.
Jan 18, 2013 4:34PM
I agree. I won't officially retire until I'm 70. In the mandate, we also require every CEO to start up and successfully operate a non-financial or consulting business and live exclusively off only it's sales for 10 years before collecting one penny from any CEO compensation program. If the business fails you go to jail. Fair is fair... if you want me to try and remain employed in a blockaded work world, you can live off your enterprise as it attempts success in my world.
Jan 18, 2013 5:02PM
Sure they want to raise the retirement age,,,in hopes of you won't live long enough to retire.  They have already pretty much sunk the social security program.  Now this?  Screw all the CEO's!, politicians and the 1%!!!
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