Retirement Heist

“The retirement industry has exported its tactics, using them to achieve similar outcome in retirement plans in Canada, Europe, Australia, and elsewhere…Unless it is reined in, the global retirement industry will continue to capture retirement wealth earned by many to enrich a relative few.”

Wall Street journalist Ellen E. Schultz explains how companies plunder and profit from retirement nest eggs in Retirement Heist, an exposé on yet another trusted institution gone astray.  Written before the 1 percent became a target, Schultz’s book adds more fuel to the manipulation of funds to sustain executive benefits and golden parachutes.

In twelve chapters, Schultz offers a menu of shady possibilities with unnerving titles.  Pick your poison:  from chapters on “How Dead Peasants Help Finance Executive Pay” to “How Employers Use Pension Law to Threaten Retirees,” to “Inflating Retiree Health Liabilities to Boost Profits.”  Did you know companies can be the beneficiaries of life insurance for their workers?

Schultz is decidedly one-sided but the other side may be too busy yachting or jetting off to an exotic site to care.  Her investigative reporting that uncovers the miserable state of affairs is no comfort, and her point is better made in her news articles (the book is compilation of many of her Wall Street columns).  If you read her article – How Employers Raid Pension Plans – shorter and you’ll get the idea.

No wonder I prefer reading fiction.