Now, THAT’S a pension.


ExxonMobil boss Rex Tillerson is getting a hell of a pension.

The state’s public employee unions were willing to give away a couple of years of my pension’s annual cost of living increases. They thought that would prevent the Illinois legislature from passing a pension reform bill that would be, they thought, much worse.

Unfortunately, that is their fighting style: Start low because it might get worse.

Their ploy failed. Michael Madigan pushed through a pension reform bill that was so bad that every justice on the Illinois Supreme Court called it out for the unconstitutional piece of crap that it was.

As a result on February 1, I will once again get my 3% increase on my retirement earnings. It will mean a couple of hundred bucks more a month. Not even enough to cover this winter’s gas bill.

The trolls that write me (and will never be posted here) to accuse public employees of being the thieves for receiving a defined pension benefit. As if it is some kind of criminal activity perpetrated on the tax-paying public.

Of course, we have long been part of the tax-paying public. And a contractual retirement pension is no more a crime than is a pay-check while we were working.

The real question is why aren’t all retirement pensions a defined benefit? And why don’t all workers get a livable defined benefit pension?

If private sector retirees receive a pension at all, it is a defined contribution pension. You can read here to see what a scam this is.

On the other side there is Rex Tillerson, retiring CEO of ExxonMobil and maybe the next Secretary of State under Trump.

Rex would have retired next March anyway because of ExxonMobil’s mandatory retirement age of 65. I find it weird that ExxonMobil thinks that 65 is too old to run their company, but it’s not too old to represent the United States to the world and Donald Trump is 70.

Rex is receiving his retirement package early. It is worth $170 million.

Because he is taking early retirement to become Secretary of State he is giving up $7 million, a little less than 4% of the total package.

Or, roughly the percentage retired teachers will receive as an increase in their checks next month.

A couple of hundred dollars a month for us.

Millions for him.

Now, that’s a pension!

13 Replies to “Now, THAT’S a pension.”

  1. Fred, you aren’t comparing apples to apples. Public vs private sector. You took the job knowing you would be limited on your earning potential. Private sector doesn’t work that way. There you are paid according to your worth/value to the company. Why are you hating when someone is able to make it in their profession? I’m retired from the public sector and it really doesn’t bother me one bit what a person in the private sector makes.

    1. Exactly! In our system comparing billionaires and teachers is comparing apple to oranges. That is the problem. But you are wrong about this: I took the job knowing I would receive a pension as part of the compensation contract. And now?

      1. I understand that , but you are attacking Tillerson as if he did something wrong. He doesn’t even need to be mentioned…period. The way you talk you sound jealous. Jealousy is ugly.

  2. You are missing a major item. Rex’s pension (and all of Exxon’ pensions) are fully funded. Exxon made sure the funds were set aside, as they were earned, for the employee and controlled by those employees. What a concept.

    C level employees are the exception rather than the rule. In a way, comparing all-star athletic that won the lottery to the JV team. No rap on the JV team but to be a C level you have to be the right person at the right time and very lucky.

  3. Institute for Policy studies CEO pension study shows in fact many are poorly funded or even non existent. Facts are subborn things

  4. Yes, subtlety is lost on some people …

    The relevant inequality is not the size of the pensions, it’s the unequal protection under the law.

    Conservatives treat contracts as something sacred and the law backs them up on that — well, contracts between corporations and corporations or between governments and corporations, contracts between either and labor not so much.

    Seeing that played out over and over is not jealousy, it’s a perception of injustice. And if you think jealousy is ugly, it’s nothing compared to injustice.

  5. NPR had an interesting interview this week with the creators of the 401K. It was never intended to stand alone or replace the pensions employees receive. The intent was that one would retire with Social Security, a (defined benefit) pension (similar to what we receive as teachers) and money we saved ourselves in a 401K (403b for teachers).

    It is sad that teachers are attacked for receiving pensions that average $40,000 per year, but the same people give a pass to private pensions in the millions. Somehow it is viewed as OK for shareholders to pay the expense of pensions in the private sector but objectionable to ask taxpayers to pay the expense of public employee pensions, even when they are not having to pay the 7.5% employers portion of the Social Security tax.

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