Monday, February 7, 2011

Former GM CEO Rick Wagoner to Receive $10 million Retirement Package

The bad news for former GM CEO Rick Wagoner is that the firm's bankruptcy proceedings and the formation of the New GM led to a cut of around 50 percent in his retirement package. The good news for Wagoner is that he is still entitled to a pension and benefit package valued over $10 million when he retires on August 1st, 2009, according to company documents filed on Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Wagoner, who was given the boot by the Obama administration back in March, is eligible for $1.64 million in benefits for each of the next five years along with an annual pension of $74,030 for the rest of his life. For the record, Wagoner who worked at GM for 32 years, is only 56 years old.

And while these numbers may sound scandalous to people like ourselves, truth is that it is not unusual for CEOs of large companies to receive enormous compensations that dwarf Wagoner's $10 million package.

For example, the AP reported that Lee Raymond, ex-chairman of ExxonMobil, pocketed a $400 million retirement package in 2006 while Stan O'Neal, who was kicked out of Merrill Lynch in 2007, received $161.5 million in stock, options and retirement benefits.

"For a company making billions of dollars in revenue, an executive regularly making millions of dollars every year, I think a $10 million retirement package, considering the length of time that he's been with the company, I think it's certainly understandable," said Aaron Boyd, a research manager with Equilar Inc.

Still, we'd by lying if we didn't say that for people like us who live on monthly paychecks with no room for savings, these numbers are simply mind-blowing and extremely hard to justify.

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