Report: I Dream Detroit

Report coming soon.

As Detroit’s resurgence continues to garner local, regional and national attention, a new ground- breaking report and project seek to amplify the voices of those most absent from the public discourse on the city’s future—women of color.

The I Dream Detroit project works to bring the experience and ideas of women of color from all walks of life more fully to bear in shaping Detroit’s development plans. In Detroit, women make up 53 percent of the city’s population. Among all women, 91 percent are women of color (Black, Asian and Latina) and a substantial portion of them live below the poverty line (56 percent of Latinas, 55 percent of Asians, and 40 percent of African Americans). Despite these odds and others, families led by women of color are self-employed and employ others as business owners, run nonprofits, hold public office, pick themselves up after incarceration and help those in need. Detroit-based social activist Grace Lee Boggs called these everyday waymakers “solutionairies.”

I Dream Detroit launched in spring 2016 with a series of meetings with direct service providers, small business owners, community activists, union leaders and elected officials from across the city. These leaders now serve as ongoing advisors and partners. Last summer, I Dream Detroit held six focus groups with partner organizations in different neighborhoods that attracted more than 100 women. Additionally, nearly 500 women offered their opinions through a citywide survey.

The project is grounded in the belief that amplifying the voices of women of color—both those most affected by poverty and those implementing effective strategies for change—is essential to Detroit’s long-term progress. “How is it that the images I see about Detroit’s revival don’t often include these women?” asks I Dream Detroit report author Kimberly Freeman Brown, a Washington, D.C.-based expert on gender and racial equity and inclusion issues. “Imagining and building a new Detroit without their meaningful participation will prevent Detroit from fully coming into its potential and promise.”

We also believe that focusing on the economic well-being of women is a way of securing the well-being of children. Toward this end, the overarching goal of the project is to reimagine Detroit’s approach to addressing economic development by putting women of color and their children at the center. Ideally, doing so will demonstrate the need for a more balanced economic change in Detroit and what it will take to achieve economic security for more of its citizens.

I Dream Detroit, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is a project of the Institute for Policy Studies’ Black Worker Initiative, a national think tank based in Washington, D.C. “The eyes of our nation are watching what happens in Detroit,” says Black Worker Initiative Director and I Dream Detroit Project Director Marc Bayard. “As cities begin to climb out of the hole created by the Great Recession, emerging opportunities to prosper can’t be for a select few. We must innovate and build economies that allow everyone to thrive. And that requires surfacing fresh ideas from new voices.”

I Dream Detroit will culminate with the October 2017 release of a photojournalistic report featuring the results of the survey and focus groups. Additionally, the report will document the struggles and successes of 15 women whose lives reflect the travails and triumphs of women of color in Detroit.

“We believe the report will greatly inform Detroit’s ongoing economic development planning,” says Brown. “And we’ll introduce to some, or re-introduce to others, new partners that economic development leaders should be working with more closely.”

For more information on I Dream Detroit, contact: Delora Hall Tyler, First Media Group (248) 354-8705 or delorahtyler@firstmediagroup.net.

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Report: The Road to Zero Wealth

In this report, we look at the racial wealth divide at the median over the next four and eight years, as well as to 2043, when the country’s population is predicted to become majority non-white. We also look to wealth rather than income to reconsider what it means to be middle class. In finding an ever-accelerating gap, we consider what it means for the American middle class and we explore what policy interventions could reverse the trends we see today. We find that without a serious change in course, the country is heading towards a racial and economic apartheid state.

Key Findings:

  • While households of color are projected to reach majority status by 2043, if the racial wealth divide is left unaddressed, median Black household wealth is on a path to hit zero by 2053 and median Latino household wealth is projected to hit zero twenty years later. In sharp contrast, median White household wealth would climb to $ 137,000 by 2053.
  • If current trends continue, by 2020 median Black and Latino households stand to lose nearly 18% and 12% of the wealth they held in 2013, respectively, while median White household wealth increases 3%. At that point–just three years from now–White households are projected to own 85 times more wealth than Black households and 68 times more wealth than Latino households.
  • The declining wealth of households of color is already taking a significant toll on the broader economy. The nation’s overall median wealth decreased nearly 20% from 1983 to 2013 ($ 78,000 to $ 64,000—a period when Black and Latino median wealth went down and White wealth slowly went up.
  • Even earning a middle-class income does not guarantee a family middle-class economic security, according to the report. White households in the middle income quintile—those earning $ 37,201-61,328 annually—own nearly eight times as much wealth ($ 86,100) as Black middle-income earners ($ 11,000) and ten times that of their Latino counterparts ($ 8,600).
  • This disconnect in income and wealth is visible across every socioeconomic level. The report found that on average, only Black and Latino households with an advanced degree have middle-class wealth or higher, while White households, on average, need only a high school diploma to attain that same level of wealth.

The report calls on the Trump administration and Congress to consider a range of policy options to help close the racial wealth divide. They include:

  • Changing our tax code to stop subsidizing those who are already wealthy and start investing in opportunities for low-wealth families to build wealth. Specifically, the report recommends reforming the mortgage interest deduction and other tax expenditures, bolstering and expanding the federal estate tax, and creating a net-worth tax on multi-million-dollar fortunes.
  • Protecting low-wealth families from wealth-stripping practices by strengthening the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and closing the offshore tax shelters currently enabling the ultra-wealthy to hide their assets.
  • Investing in bold new programs like Children’s Savings Accounts, automatic-enrollment retirement accounts, federal jobs guarantees, and a racial wealth divide audit of government policies.

Read the full report here [PDF].
Find sharable graphics here.

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Report: Corporate Tax Cuts Boost CEO Pay, Not Jobs

House Speaker Paul Ryan is proposing to cut the statutory federal corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent. President Trump wants to slash the rate even further, to just 15 percent. Their core argument? Lowering the tax burden will lead to more and better jobs.

To investigate this claim, this report is the first to analyze the job creation records of the 92 publicly held U.S. corporations that reported a U.S. profit every year from 2008 through 2015 and paid less than 20 percent of these earnings in federal income tax. Did these reduced tax rates actually lead to greater employment within the 92 firms? The data we have compiled give a definitive — and sobering — answer.

Key findings: 

Tax breaks did not spur job creation

  • America’s 92 most consistently profitable tax-dodging firms registered median jobgrowth of negative 1 percent between 2008 and 2016. The job growth rate over those same years among U.S. private sector firms as a whole: 6 percent.
  • More than half of the 92 tax-avoiders, 48 firms in all, eliminated jobs between 2008 and 2016, downsizing by a combined total of 483,000 positions.

Tax-dodging corporations paid their CEOs more than other big firms

  • Average CEO pay among the 92 firms rose 18 percent, to $ 13.4 million in real terms, between 2008 and 2016, compared to a 13 percent increase among S&P 500 CEOs. U.S. private sector worker pay increased by only 4 percent during this period.
  • CEOs at the 48 job-slashing companies within our 92-firm sample pocketed even larger paychecks. In 2016 they made $ 14.9 million on average, 14 percent more than the $ 13.1 million for typical S&P 500 CEOs.

Job-cutting firms spent tax savings on buybacks, which inflated CEO pay

  • Many of the firms in our sample funneled tax savings into stock buybacks, a financial maneuver that inflates the value of executive stock-based pay. On average, the top 10 job-cutters in our sample each spent $ 45 billion over the last nine years repurchasing their own stock, six times as much as the S&P 500 corporate average.

ExxonMobil hiked CEO Tillerson’s pay while dodging taxes, slashing jobs

  • The oil giant paid an effective tax rate of only 13.6 percent during the 2008-2015 period, at the same time cutting more than a third of its global workforce (the company does not reveal U.S. jobs data). After pumping nearly $ 146 billion into stock buybacks, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, now the U.S. secretary of state, took home $ 27.4 million in total compensation in 2016, 22 percent more than he collected in 2008.

AT&T is the top job-cutter among the tax-dodging firms

  • The telecommunications giant managed to get away with an effective tax rate of just 8.1 percent over the 2008-2015 period, while cutting more jobs than any other firm in our sample. After accounting for acquisitions and spinoffs, the firm had nearly 80,000 fewer employees in 2016 than in 2008. Instead of job-preserving investments, the firm shoveled profits into stock buybacks ($ 34 billion over the past nine years) and CEO pay. AT&T chief Randall Stephenson pulled in $ 28.4 million in 2016, more than double his 2008 payout.

GE cut jobs while funneling offshore tax-dodging proceeds into CEO pay and buybacks

  • Through extensive use of overseas tax havens, General Electric achieved a negative effective tax rate during the 2008-2015 period, meaning the firm got more back from Uncle Sam than it paid into federal coffers. The company spent $ 42 billion repurchasing its own stock, which helped boost CEO Jeffrey Immelt’s pay to nearly $ 18 million in 2016. Meanwhile, the company’s employee count dropped by about 14,700 over the past nine years.

Read the full report here [PDF].
Find shareable graphics here.
Explore all Executive Excess reports from 1994 onward.

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New Report Finds Corporate Tax Cuts Boost CEO Pay, Not Jobs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Full report and graphics

Washington, D.C. — When President Donald Trump launches his tax cut campaign today in Missouri, he will no doubt repeat the Republican mantra that slashing the corporate tax rate will lead to more and better jobs. He has proposed cutting the statutory federal corporate tax rate from 35 to 15 percent, while House Speaker Paul Ryan has called for a 20 percent rate.

To investigate this jobs claim, the Institute for Policy Studies has analyzed the employment records of the 92 publicly held U.S. corporations that exploited loopholes to pay less than a 20 percent effective U.S. tax rate from 2008 through 2015, despite making a profit every year.

Key findings: 

Tax breaks did not spur job creation

  • America’s 92 most consistently profitable tax-dodging firms registered median jobgrowth of negative 1 percent between 2008 and 2016. The job growth rate over those same years among U.S. private sector firms as a whole: 6 percent.
  • More than half of the 92 tax-avoiders, 48 firms in all, eliminatedjobs between 2008 and 2016, downsizing by a combined total of 483,000 positions.

Tax-dodging corporations paid their CEOs more than other big firms

  • Average CEO pay among the 92 firms rose 18 percent, to $ 13.4 million in real terms, between 2008 and 2016, compared to a 13 percent increase among S&P 500 CEOs. U.S. private sector worker pay increased by only 4 percent during this period.
  • CEOs at the 48 job-slashing companies within our 92-firm sample pocketed even larger paychecks. In 2016 they made $ 14.9 million on average, 14 percent more than the $ 13.1 million for typical S&P 500 CEOs.

Job-cutting firms spent tax savings on buybacks, which inflated CEO pay

  • Many of the firms in our sample funneled tax savings into stock buybacks, a financial maneuver that inflates the value of executive stock-based pay. On average, the top 10 job-cutters in our sample each spent $ 45 billion over the last nine years repurchasing their own stock, six times as much as the S&P 500 corporate average.

ExxonMobil hiked CEO Tillerson’s pay while dodging taxes, slashing jobs

  • The oil giant paid an effective tax rate of only 13.6 percent during the 2008-2015 period, at the same time cutting more than a third of its global workforce (the company does not reveal U.S. jobs data). After pumping nearly $ 146 billion into stock buybacks, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, now the U.S. secretary of state, took home $ 27.4 million in total compensation in 2016, 22 percent more than he collected in 2008.

AT&T is the top job-cutter among the tax-dodging firms

  • The telecommunications giant managed to get away with an effective tax rate of just 8.1 percent over the 2008-2015 period, while cutting more jobs than any other firm in our sample. After accounting for acquisitions and spinoffs, the firm had nearly 80,000 fewer employees in 2016 than in 2008. Instead of job-preserving investments, the firm shoveled profits into stock buybacks ($ 34 billion over the past nine years) and CEO pay. AT&T chief Randall Stephenson pulled in $ 28.4 million in 2016, more than double his 2008 payout.

GE cut jobs while funneling offshore tax-dodging proceeds into CEO pay and buybacks

  • Through extensive use of overseas tax havens, General Electric achieved a negativeeffective tax rate during the 2008-2015 period, meaning the firm got more back from Uncle Sam than it paid into federal coffers. The company spent $ 42 billion repurchasing its own stock, which helped boost CEO Jeffrey Immelt’s pay to nearly $ 18 million in 2016. Meanwhile, the company’s employee count dropped by about 14,700 over the past nine years.

“CEOs have used the proceeds from tax savings to enrich themselves at the expense of job-creating investments,” notes report author Sarah Anderson. “The debate over corporate taxes should focus on ensuring that the corporations these CEOs run pay their full and fair share.”

This 24th edition of the annual IPS Executive Excess series also includes the most comprehensive available catalog of CEO pay reforms, including proposed legislation to eliminate the CEO bonus loophole.

Full report and graphics.

About the lead author: Sarah Anderson directs the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-edits the IPS web site Inequality.org. She has been the lead author on all 24 of the Institute’s annual Executive Excess reports. Her executive compensation analysis has been featured recently in the New York TimesFortune, and the Los Angeles Times.

More Information:

Sarah Anderson, sarah@ips-dc.org(202) 787 5227
Domenica Ghanem, press@ips-dc.org(202) 787-5205
Jessica Pierre, jessicah@ips-dc.org

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS-DC.org) is a multi-issue research center that has conducted path-breaking research on executive compensation for more than 20 years. IPS also provides a constant stream of inequality analysis and solutions through our Inequality.org web site and weekly newsletter.

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Report: Reversing Inequality

While there is now widespread understanding that extreme income and wealth inequality is growing and has negative impacts on society, most proposed solutions fail to address deeper systemic drivers. While technological change and globalization have supercharged inequalities, they are not the primary drivers.

This report, released with the Next Systems Project, offers a more critical explanation for extreme inequality and the ways in which the rules governing the economy have been distorted by power differentials and political factors. These rules –including tax, trade, regulation, public subsidies, and expenditures – have been tipped to advantage asset owners over wage earners, and transnational corporations over domestically-rooted enterprises. As a result, we are living with a particular flavor of a market economy – hyper-extractive monopoly capitalism – that is transferring wealth from workers and communities upwards to a small segment of the population.

Another driver of inequality is systemic racism and a legacy of discrimination in wages and wealth-building. These forces are impossible to separate and disentangle from other drivers of inequality. Policy interventions that don’t incorporate an understanding of systemic racism will fail to reverse or compound existing inequalities. And false solutions like a New Deal 2.0 program, including government stimulus packages, fail to recognize the ecological limits to traditional growth and the need to operate within the earth’s carrying capacity. The only path forward is building resilient communities that can bounce back from environmental and economic challenges.

This paper describes a full menu of “interventions” to reduce income and wealth inequality and address some of the systemic drivers of inequality. They fall into four categories, including policies that:

  • Lift the Floor, establishing minimal standard of living and safety nets
  • Level the Playing Field, by ensuring investments in public goods and elimination of the distorting influences of power and privilege
  • Deconcentrate Wealth, through interventions that directly reduce the concentration of wealth and power
  • Rewire the System, to undercut inequality drivers

One way forward is to build power and win some of these rule changes by focusing on “pressure points” that can accelerate the transition to the next system. This will require game changing campaigns that accomplish three things:

  • Reduce the concentration of wealth and power, break up institutions, or redistribute wealth and power.
  • Open up economic opportunities for those excluded in the current system.
  • Capture the imagination of a wide constituency of people willing to fight for policy change.

Three examples in the paper are:

  • Dividends for all: linking common wealth sources of revenue to programs that expand economic stability
  • Taxing excessive carbon solution and directing revenue to investments in renewable energy, green infrastructure and just transition efforts.
  • Expand tuition-free higher education by creating education trust funds funded by progressive taxes on wealth.

Read the full report here [PDF].
Download Quick Takeaways from the report here.
Find shareable graphics here.

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Report: How States Can Boost Renewables With Benefits for All

Given the current assault on responsible climate policy at the federal level, innovative state and local actions will be critical if we are to achieve a just transition to a sustainable economy. IPS is surveying the array of measures that can accelerate the rapid transition from fossil fuels to clean and efficient alternatives in an equitable fashion. In this study, we focus in on one strategy: Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).  RPS require utilities to provide a growing share of electricity from solar and wind energy, and are a particularly promising policy option — especially if they increase the benefits of a clean energy transition for low-income families.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia already have RPS requirements, and eight other states have voluntary renewable energy goals. Building on this progress — by enacting RPS in additional states, tightening current standards, and making voluntary programs binding — would have significant environmental, economic, and social benefits:

KEY FINDINGS:

  • RPS expansion can significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The electric power generation sector accounts for nearly 30% of total U.S. GHG emissions. Since residential electricity usage currently makes up more than 37% of national utilities sales, RPS success will depend on dramatically expanding home-based solar energy options — especially for low-income households.
  • RPS expansion creates good jobs. Solar energy already accounts for nearly 43% of direct U.S. employment in electric power generation, even though it only makes up a tiny fraction of the energy we use to power our country.
  • Renewable energy wages are comparable to those in the fossil fuel industry. A typical wind turbine technician, for example, earns $ 25.50 an hour, significantly more than many fossil fuel occupations.
  • Expanding shared solar access advances justice and equity. Low-income communities and communities of color are more likely to live in poorly insulated homes with higher heating and cooling costs, which means they spend more of their income on electricity. A typical set of residential solar panels would meet more than half of an average low-income household’s electricity needs — which means cutting their electricity bill drastically.
  • Shared renewables can allow families and small businesses a stake in the renewable energy market. The U.S. electricity market was worth $ 391 billion in 2015. RPS can help keep more of this money in communities.

Drawing from successful state models, the report identifies the following key “best practice” elements of RPS and low-income solar access policies:

  1.      A sufficiently ambitious timetable.
  2.      No non-renewable or dirty power (nuclear energy, trash incineration, or biofuels) included in “renewables” definition.
  3.      A system of tradable renewable energy credits (RECs) to facilitate tracking.
  4.      Meaningful penalties for noncompliance.
  5.      Requirement to fund solar access for low-income households.
  6.      Incorporating a “green jobs” component into the low-income solar program.
  7.      Legislative provision for shared solar, which also incorporates funding for solar access for low-income communities (#5) and its related targeted hiring and training component (#6).

Read the full executive summary and report here [PDF].
Find sharable graphics and social media kit here.

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New IPS Report Provides a Blueprint for States to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Trump Era

(Washington, D.C.) – Given the current assault on responsible climate policy at the federal level by the Trump administration, now more than ever, innovative state and local actions are needed to combat our climate crisis. Many states are already well on their way.

The new IPS report How States Can Boost Renewables With Benefits for All documents how increasing and expanding Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and distributed solar access to low-income households in states can help substantially reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The report also compiles existing state models for RPS expansion to create best practices blueprint for RPS legislation with dedicated funding for increased distributed solar access for low-income households.

“States and local governments can and must pick up the federal government’s slack in advancing an ambitious people’s climate agenda,” report author and IPS Climate Policy Director Basav Sen said. “Expanding access to solar to low-income communities and renters through programs like shared-solar is crucial since electric power generation is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and the residential and commercial sectors are the two largest end-users of electricity sales by utilities. If we obtained all of our electricity from renewables, that would have a greater emissions impact than taking every single car in the U.S. off the road.

KEY FINDINGS:

  • RPS expansion creates good jobs. Solar energy already accounts for nearly 43% of direct U.S. employment in electric power generation, even though it only makes up a tiny fraction of the energy we use to power our country.
  • Renewable energy wages are comparable to those in the fossil fuel industry. A typical wind turbine technician, for example, earns $ 25.50 an hour, significantly more than many fossil fuel occupations.
  • Expanding shared solar access advances justice and equity. Low-income communities and communities of color are more likely to live in poorly insulated homes with higher heating and cooling costs, which means they spend more of their income on electricity. A typical set of residential solar panels would meet more than half of an average low-income household’s electricity needs — which means cutting their electricity bill drastically.
  • Shared renewables can allow families and small businesses a stake in the renewable energy market. The U.S. electricity market was worth $ 391 billion in 2015. RPS can help keep more of this money in communities.

Read more key findings and the full report at http://www.ips-dc.org/report-how-states-can-boost-renewables-with-benefits-for-all/.

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Report: The Wall Street Bonus Pool and Low Wage Workers

 Wall Street banks handed out $ 23.9 billion in bonuses to their New York City-based employees last year, according to new figures from the New York State Comptroller. To put these figures in perspective, we’ve compared the Wall Street payout to low-wage workers’ earnings.

For full sources and methodology, download the full report [PDF].

Wall Street Bonuses v. Minimum Wage Earners

  • The total bonus pool for 177,000 Wall Street employees was 1.6 times the combined annual earnings of all 1,075,000 U.S. full-time minimum wage workers.
  • The average Wall Street bonus increased by 1 percent last year to $ 138,210. Since 1985, the nominal value of the average Wall Street bonus has increased 890 percent, whereas the minimum wage has risen only 116 percent.

The Race and Gender Divide

  • The much faster increase in Wall Street bonuses has contributed to racial and gender inequality, since workers at the bottom of the wage scale are predominantly people of color and female, whereas those in the financial industry’s upper echelons are overwhelmingly white and male.
  • At the five largest U.S. investment banks, the share of executives and top managers who are white ranges from 84-87 percent, and the share who are male ranges from 66-84 percent.
  • Only 44 percent of minimum wage workers are white and 37 percent are male.

Wall Street Bonuses v. Low-Wage Service Workers

  • The 2016 bonus pool held enough dollars to lift the pay of any one of these groups of low-wage workers up to $ 15 per hour:
  • all of the country’s 3.1 million restaurant servers and bartenders,
  • all 1.7 million home health and personal care aides, or
  • all 3.2 million fast food preparation and serving workers

For full sources and methodology, download the full report [PDF].

Sarah Anderson is the director of the Global Economy project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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NDWA and IPS to Release New Labor Trafficking Report at Public Panel Discussion, with Survivors

Media Contacts:
Marzena Zukowska, National Domestic Workers Alliance, marzena@domesticworkers.org, 872-216-3684
Domenica Ghanem, Institute for Policy Studies, domenica@ips-dc.org, 202-787-5205

Washington, DC — The National Domestic Workers Alliance and Institute for Policy Studies will release their new report The Human Trafficking of Domestic Workers in the United States: Findings from the Beyond Survival Campaign at a public panel discussion featuring labor trafficking survivors and immigrant worker rights organizers on March 13 at 12PM at their office in Washington DC. The panel will discuss the report’s findings, the impact of the Trump administration’s policies on labor trafficking survivors, and solutions policymakers should adopt to protect domestic workers. If you cannot attend in person, you can join our audio livestream here.

In a political climate where employers are encouraged to prey upon the most vulnerable among us and police are increasingly embroiled in immigrant enforcement, we anticipate that labor protections for trafficking survivors will only deteriorate. It is critical to learn from the experiences of domestic workers, like Shanti and Rosa, whose stories are featured in the report, and who have survived labor exploitation and human trafficking. Through their leadership, others experiencing similar abuse will be encouraged to break the silence. Policymakers must adopt the solutions developed by survivors to stop the exploitation of domestic workers and bring respect, recognition and dignity to this essential workforce.

WHO:              Labor trafficking survivors and domestic worker  organizers, Shanti and Rosa
Damayan Migrant Workers Association Organizer, Riya Ortiz
Report co-author and NDWA Advocacy Director, Sameera Hafiz will moderate

WHAT:            Findings from the Beyond Survival Campaign Report Release and panel discussion on the impact of Trump immigration enforcement policies on survivors of human trafficking

WHERE:         1301 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036 OR
Join our audio livestream

WHEN:           March 13, 2017, 12:00-1:30 PM

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Report: A Tale of Two Retirements

For release on December 15 at 7:00pm.

 This reporttwo-retirements-cover compares the retirement assets of top CEOs with those of all African-American, Latino, female-headed, and white working class households.

Find shareable graphics here.

Key findings:

Just 100 CEOs have company retirement funds worth $ 4.7 billion — a sum equal to the entire retirement savings of the 41 percent of U.S. families with the smallest nest eggs.

This $ 4.7 billion total is also equal to the entire retirement savings of the bottom:

  • 59 percent of African-American families
  • 75 percent of Latino families
  • 55 percent of female-headed households
  • 44 percent of white working class households

On average, the top 100 CEO nest eggs are large enough to generate for each of these executives a $ 253,088 monthly retirement check for the rest of their lives.

  • Ordinary workers with 401(k) plans had a median balance at the end of 2013 of $ 18,433, enough for a monthly retirement check of just $ 101.
  • Of workers 56-61 years old, 39 percent have no employer-sponsored retirement plan whatsoever and will likely depend entirely on Social Security, which pays an average benefit of $ 1,239 per month.

With nearly $ 3 billion in special tax-deferred accounts, Fortune 500 CEOs stand to gain enormously from Trump’s proposed tax cuts on top earners.

  • If President-elect Donald Trump succeeds in cutting the top marginal tax rate to 33 percent, Fortune 500 CEOs would save $ 196 million on the income taxes they would owe if they withdrew their tax-deferred funds.
  • These special executive deferred accounts are exempt from 401(k) contribution limits.
  • Michael Neidorff, the CEO of Centene, which specializes in providing health plans to Medicaid recipients, has nearly $ 140 million in his deferred compensation account, up 658 percent since the 2010 launch of Obamacare.

The retirement asset gap between CEOs mirrors the racial and gender divides among ordinary Americans.

  • The 10 white male CEOs with the largest retirement funds hold a combined $ 1.4 billion, more than eight times more than the 10 CEOs of color with the largest retirement assets and nearly five times as much as the top 10 female CEOs.

Read the full report here [PDF].

Use our social media kit to help spread the word.

The post Report: A Tale of Two Retirements appeared first on Institute for Policy Studies.

Sarah Anderson directs the Global Economy project at the Institute for Policy Studies.
Scott Klinger has worked in the arenas of corporate social responsibility, executive compensation, and corporate taxes for three decades.

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