Nearly half of all American workers receive no retirement help in the form of a 401(k), a pension, or any other financial plan.
That isn’t a problem for America’s top CEOs, many of them receive huge paychecks and saving plans even if they are fired from their posts.
One executive on the Fortune 500 CEOs list is already set to receive $234 million when he retires, according to an analysis from The Center for Effective Government and the Institute for Policy Studies.
That CEO is David Novak, CEO of the struggling restaurant chain owner Yum Brands. His company owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC.
In 2001 Yum Brands stopped offering pensions, but it continues to offer 401(k) plans with a generious 6% match.
Nearly 8,800 of Yum’s workers had at least something in their 401(k) at the end of last year, with the average at about $70,000, according to the study.
Novak will receive a pension, but most of his retirement income will come from what he’s saved in a tax-deferred compensation plan set up by the company.
He saved about $940,000 in that account last year alone. It currently has a cumulative balance of $233 million.
Novak has been a senior executive with the company for 29 years, 15 of which he was CEO.
Here’s the kicker, employees are capped at $18,000 per year in their 401(k) which means they couldn’t save that type of money in a similar account, even if they wanted to save more. Workers over the age of 50 can save a whopping $24,000 per year, if they can afford to save that amount.
The special tax-deferred accounts that some companies make available to their top execs have no limit.
Fortune 500 CEOs have nearly half of their retirement assets in deferred compensation plans, the study said.