Integrity Matters
January 25, 2006

Pension cuts show a lack of loyalty

Question: (E-225)

Dear Jim:

American corporations are dissolving pensions. Front-line employees commit careers to organizations only to see their loyalty and integrity kicked to the curb. Can this be stopped?


When retirement payments are dissolved with accounting trickery and irresponsible behavior, and the government does not step in, free enterprise is at risk. Executives hire employees to produce and provide quality products and services. Employees deserve fair wages and adequate retirement benefits. Responsible organizations are good stewards of retirement accounts, enabling structured savings to become well-earned individual safety nets. Unfortunately, too many organizations have reneged on pension payouts.

More are threatening to dissolve these accounts, risking the health and security of vulnerable employees and destroying trust and optimism.

These dishonest stewards of promised dollars appear to be powerful capitalist "renegades" who know the loopholes and have abandoned legitimate obligations to their employees, current and past. This is wrong and they know it. They are ignoring the social contract between labor and management.

Last month, according to The Associated Press, President Bush called on American businesses to live up to their pension promises, saying too many companies are not putting away enough money to protect the retirement benefits of their workers. Bush said federal rules governing pensions are confusing and misleading and allow companies to technically play by the rules without funding the promises they make. In the end, taxpayers wind up footing the bill because of federal pension insurance.

Corporate leaders are being allowed, by law, to sidestep responsibilities.

In addition to rising pension insurance costs, trust in the business leadership sinks, even lower. Who is eager to work hard without proper respect for leaders? No one!

One thing that can be done to help restore pensions and trust in the free enterprise system is electing officials who are willing to protect the vulnerable. Because the pensions of those we elect to Congress are secure, isn't it reasonable to assume that those who want our votes would work hard to secure pension-security for us? Learn the status of your pension and demand passage of protective pension laws, immediately.

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