Retirees, Companies Head Toward Pension Fight
Orlando Sentinel (02/11/01) p.H1; Plitch, Phyllis

Angry retirees are floating shareholder proposals at several companies, including General Electric, IBM, Qwest Communications, and Verizon Communications, in an attempt to tie their pension-related grievances to executive pay packages. The nonbinding resolutions recommend that pension gains not supply performance-based compensation awards--a move that some retirees think could gain them leverage in their battle to get higher benefits. Companies that book pension gains are following generally accepted accounting principles, so the process is not about to change, but increased attention to pension credits is coming at a time when such gains are getting more scrutiny. Retirees say that the results are perverse if pension plan contributions go to executives while retirees forgo cost-of-living increases. However, some corporate officials have built legal barriers to keep the resolutions out of their proxy materials.

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