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.
This post comes from Matthew Heimer at partner site MarketWatch.
In 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.
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.)
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That's why math, logic, and politicians don't mix well together. In the world of mathematics a number subtracted from a smaller number always comes out to have a negative sign attached to it. In the political world they somehow forget to bring down that sneaky little negative sign - what an inconvenience. Sooner or later the negatives add up and all the rose colored glasses the world has to offer won't change it. Greece and Spain are just two small examples where life is changing to harsh realities. But, apparently, it's business as usual for the fearless leaders in the land of Oz.
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.
Raise the top limit up to $150,000.00 and don't let the polititions borrow any of it for any thing.
Next up: Slavery as an answer to the heartbreak of making those payrolls.
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....
"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 ?
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