Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers

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Portfolio/Penguin, Oct 30, 2012 - Business & Economics - 248 pages
2 Reviews
Winner of the 2012 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism

Hundreds of companies have slashed pensions and health coverage for millions of retirees, claiming that a perfect storm of stock market losses, aging workers, and spiraling costs have forced them to take drastic measures.

But this so-called retirement crisis is no accident. Ellen E. Schultz, an award-winning investigative reporter formerly of The Wall Street Journal, reveals how large employers and the retirement industry have all played a huge and hidden role in the death spiral of American pensions and benefits.
A little over a decade ago, pension plans were fat. But companies used slick accounting and dubious loopholes to turn their pension plans into piggy banks, tax shelters, and profit centers. As pensions weakened, companies slashed benefits for workers while doling out gargantuan pensions to their top executives.

Drawing on original analysis of company data, government filings, and confidential memos, Schultz uncovers decades of widespread deception during which employers exaggerated their retiree burdens while tricking employees, misleading shareholders, and lobbying for taxpayer handouts.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rufusraider - LibraryThing

This book is a must read for anyone with a pension provided by their employer. Especially for anyone whose employer has frozen/restructured their retirement plan. It exposes a lot of the truth about ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nivramkoorb - LibraryThing

Great book. Read it and weep. Corporate America continues to transfer wealth away from the middle class to the upper class. Showing no sense of responsibility, they feel no remorse in denying retirees ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Ellen E. Schultz is an investigative reporter who has covered the so-called retirement crisis for more than a decade. Her reporting has led to Congressional hearings, proposed legislation, and investigations by the Treasury and the GAO. Schultz, a former staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, has won dozens of journalism awards for economics, financial, and investigative reporting, including three Polk Awards, two Loeb awards, and a National Press Club award. In 2003, Schultz was part of a team of Wall Street Journal reporters awarded the Pulitzer Prize, for articles on corporate scandals. She lives in New York City.


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