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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 21, 2013 11:16AM
Workers:  Cut out one CEO and hire 500 workers.  The labor costs would stay the same.
Jan 21, 2013 11:15AM

Can you say "under funded pension plans, benefits costs, and worker exploitation"????? Of course CEO's (and media pundits, financial advisers, members of Congress, etc. etc. etc.) who are making BIG$$$ and have nothing to worry about for their retirement are going to say raise the age.  That much less to pay out given the deaths of soo many in their 60's from cancer, heart attack, stroke, etc. who can't collect!


What about the millions who are burned out emotionally and/or physically in their early 60's from jobs that chew them up and then spit them out??? What are they to do??? Raise the age so that the declining birth rate in the US won't hurt the available pool of labor! That's the answer! I thought that slavery was outlawed in this country? Walk a mile in another person's shoes if you really want to know how it feels! The Bozo baffoons coming up with this stuff have no idea what it's like for the 98%!

In today's age of 24/7 cellphones/email/texting that tie people to virtual servitude, the majority of middle class workers are married to their jobs with little or no extra compensation. Long Gone are the days when you walked out the door to go home and left your "job" at the office!!! You either shut up, do it, and don't complain, or you lose your job and are replaced by someone cheaper who will!

Glad that I'm retired and don't have to look back! I feel sorry for future generations!!!

Jan 21, 2013 11:14AM

Worker:  Cut CEO's pay.  Like this headline better.

Jan 21, 2013 11:12AM
of course a ceo would be for it he will never have to draw ss cause hes rich rich rich. if the goverment wants to  fix it heres a way, stop stealing our money from it and put back what you crooks have stolen from it for years and dont let people draw from it that never put any thing in it. i know some thing that simple is hard for you simple minded idiots in washington to understand but try it any way
Jan 21, 2013 11:02AM

CEO's: Raise retirement age to 70


Rest of the world:  Cut CEO pay! They are not worth the money they are being paid!!

Jan 21, 2013 11:00AM

Raise retirement age?  Good luck getting a job after the age is raised.   Try being 65 and getting a CEO to hire you.


What will happen is if you raise the retirement age, there will be a poverty gap of folks age 62 and over who can't get social security and no CEO will hire them because they are too old.


Watch the film...The Company Men.


CEOs themselves retire early as they know being 70 and trying to enjoy retirement is a nasty life

Jan 21, 2013 10:55AM

These CEO's don't have any idea what they want.


I'm an American living in Germany. Company bosses here wanted the same, and the German government gave them their wish several years ago: The statutory retirement age was raised to 67, with the possibility for "early retirement" at 66.


Now get this: The companies are now whining that all these older workers are blocking jobs that they want to move the 30-year-olds in fasttrack programs into. They have now approached the unions to negotiate privately-financed early retirement schemes to "bridge" employees who leave at, say, age 62-63, until retirement at age 66!



Jan 21, 2013 10:53AM
Clas warfar...class warfare.  We owe the rich our being, we should build places of worship for them, make gods out of them..........wait, we already do...
Jan 21, 2013 10:52AM
Wow, not one positive remark for the CEOs.  Seems that the CEOs may be part of our problem.  But you Republicvans keep on being lap dogs for them and see where you wind up
Jan 21, 2013 10:29AM

social  security   should   have had  some  changes   to  it   a  couple  generations  expectancy  is   15  or  more  years   longer  now  than  when  the  scam   was   first  started....


why  hasn't  the  age  at  which you   can  collect benefits   gone  up?  we   still   have  people collecting  partial  benefits  @62   years?   why.....  why?

Jan 21, 2013 10:10AM
This coming from the a****** that leave with a golden parachute plus a multi million dollar pension. How about these scum forfeiting social security since they make millions in retirement income.
Jan 21, 2013 10:04AM
Raise the retirement age KMA. For the country to be better of financially put the tax rates to what they were prior to 1987 where those making more than $250,000 were taxed at 50%.  That's Reaganomics at work the trickle down theory, the rich get richer, the poor become poorer, and the middle class gets SCREWED.
Jan 21, 2013 9:48AM
This is really the worst hypocrisy as large companies are the worst offenders of age discrimination.  Been there.  Saw it first hand for myself as only one of virtually all the older salaried employees pushed out at my company.
Jan 21, 2013 9:42AM

I say leave it the same!  Considering that the current generations are being worked to death by these fat, greedy, worthless, CEO's I doubt most of us will make it to 65.  I work for a company whose "Purpose" is "Helping people on a path to better health", yet I have to work 65-75 hours a week, without a break everyday to just keep my head above water because the fat, greedy, worthless, executives won't give the stores any payroll.  Until we as Americans start to stand up for ourselves against these CEO's and our government, we are screwed!


Jan 21, 2013 9:24AM
What do these people sit around a table and discuss how to get the populous to dislike them some more?

Jed:  "I say there Thornton, I would like to people to hate me some more, do you have any ideas?"
Thornton: "Why yes Jed, we could write an opinion piece in the WSJ about how people need to work longer until they reach retirement. "
Jed: "What a splendid idea, I will get my secretary on it right away."

Jan 21, 2013 9:21AM
We need a revolution. I'm serious.
Jan 21, 2013 12:22AM
Youre right. These CEOS dont know how normal people live.
Jan 20, 2013 10:26PM
CEO stands for creating employment overseas. And thats were these clowns need to be sent once they are deported for having no soul.
Jan 20, 2013 8:45PM
These CEOs are way out of touch with reality and should be deported for un American activity. then they can work a construction job in some third world country till they are 70 then retire on 1100 dollars a month.
Jan 20, 2013 7:38PM

CEOs: Raise retirement age to 70

...counter proposal

Regular Joes:  Raise SS/Medicare tax to 15 and 10 percent on CEO-type income over 113,700 and 150,000 respectively.


I'll retire when I dam well please (thanks for the rather disconnected suggestion tho), and you can think of my suggestion as a status symbol tax while you look down your boney arsed nose at us.

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