Smart SpendingSmart Spending

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 5:15PM
Covenient how someone who can afford to retire after one year, wants to tell everyone else that they need to wait longer before retiring.
Jan 18, 2013 5:09PM
Corporations tend to lay off older workers NOW. I know people who can't find a good paying job at 60 and in all the job interviews they had. They always hire younger people. What a crock if you get laid off. You are out of luck take a 50% pay cut.  This is almost as bad as the companies saying they can't find qualified people with the proper training. You can bet the older people hiring did not get the training for their positions. Companies have to invest in people.
Jan 18, 2013 5:05PM

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. 

Jan 18, 2013 5:04PM
I have an idea. Why not apply FICA to all of a wealthy person's income and then have them means tested to determine if they receive benefits.
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%!!!
Jan 18, 2013 5:02PM
Thats great that a bunch of rich people that can retire whenever they want to think that people who need social security to retire should wait until they are 70 to retire.  Lifes short enough as it is if you make it to 65 you should be free to enjoy what ever time you have left and not spend 5 more years being a corporate slave.  As it is we have enough people working that should be resting during there golden years.  If I was a CEO I wouldn't want people workng for me until they were 70 because their productivity is likey to drop and the quality of there were may suffer.  Seems like a potential liability rather than an asset to a company.  This is all about greed and not whats best for society!
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 4:44PM

Raise the top limit up to $150,000.00 and don't let the polititions borrow any of it for any thing.


Jan 18, 2013 4:44PM
I have had four of ten friends who died shortly after retireing at 62. When you work (factory, maintenance, contruction, or a trade) for a living is different than working in office. We wear out our bodies and we are do not have the same life exfectancy. Every body I work with has should repair or a new knee by time they are 60. I dought I live to see 70. So I guess I get no retirement.
Jan 18, 2013 4:41PM
Absolutely ridiculous! Time for this to STOP!!! Americans....REVOLT!!
Jan 18, 2013 4:40PM
Let's keep workers poor and scared so that these guys can have more.

Jan 18, 2013 4:40PM

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

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 4:36PM
I smell a CEO BBQ in the near future. They won't be the guests.
Jan 18, 2013 4:35PM
Look people.....I know that we don't want to work longer but SOMETHING has to be done to fix some HUGE problems.  Our govt. will not cut ANY spending except military.  They keep putting millions of crap into ALL spending bills.  Every election they say they want to tackle waste and fraud but DO NOTHING.  We take more out of SS than we ever put into it in our lifetimes.  What does our president do....he let's us not pay the payroll SS tax, although employers still had to do the matching.  That was the stupidest thing he could have down to SS which has been struggling for quite sometime.  Now with the fiscal cliff STILL hanging over our heads...the dems. will scare us again and blame the GOP.....and NOTHING WILL BE FIXED.  Kick the can once again.
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 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 4:22PM
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.
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.