Friday, May 02, 2003

Arianna Huffington on pensions in Alternet:
Among the gimmicks being used to goose the value of these plans is an accounting scheme that can dramatically increase a CEO's retirement windfall by adding phantom years -- even phantom decades -- of service to the exec's pension....

Thanks to this latest innovation in corporate accounting, Leo Mullin, Delta Airlines' CEO, has had an additional 22 years of service tacked on to the less than six years he's actually worked for the company, while US Air's former CEO Stephen Wolf was given credit for 24 years he didn't really put in. And this scam isn't reserved for the high-flyers of the airline industry. When John Snow left CSX Railroad to become Treasury Secretary, he was given credit for having put in 44 years at the firm, even though he'd actually punched a time clock there for 25 -- a little fun with numbers that helped him walk away with a cool $33 million in pension booty....

Unlike salaries and bonuses, which are regularly reported in the business press, the details of executive pension plans are usually hidden away in the extra fine print of a company's SEC filings....

And CEOs love that pension plan payouts come with none of those annoying tied-to-performance strings attached.

Did I mention that The Carlyle Group owns CSX?

Update:You should probably read the Fortune article that Arianna got all her info from. Lot's more revolting details from the piggy issue.


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