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Boeing CEO Taking $3.9M Annual Pension for 15 Years After Workers Were Forced Into 401Ks

Jim McNerney pension

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Boeing’s most recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing has revealed that CEO Jim McNerney will be paid $3.9 million a year in pension benefits for each of the next 15 years.  This revelation follows the announcement that he will retire on July 1st but will remain as chairman until February of 2016.

The news comes a year and a half after union machinists at Boeing were all but forced into a contract that phases out pension plans for workers.  Boeing threatened to move its entire 777x facility to another (likely non-union) state before the workers acquiesced.  Boeing will now contribute to a 401k plan for its machinists instead of a defined-benefit pension.  

A breakdown of McNerney’s golden parachute deal, long ago entered into, comes from MSN:

McNerney, who’s stepping down as CEO July 1, will be able to collect about $900,000 a year from two company-sponsored pension plans, according Chicago-based Boeing’s March 13 proxy filing. He’ll also receive $3 million in each of the next 15 years from a separate retirement benefit the company gave him to offset forfeited pension payments from his two most recent employers, 3M Co. and General Electric Co.

McNerney started at Boeing in 2005 and has overseen the update of the 737 jet and the introduction of the 787 dreamliner.  During his reign Boeing’s stock has tripled.  However, McNerney also oversaw a period of anti-union resentment and open hostility which resulted in the Dreamliner’s production shipping off to “Right-to-Work” South Carolina.  Under McNerney’s watch, all Boeing employees — not just the union machinists — saw their retirement plans downgraded to 401k plans.   

Boeing announced that McNerney will be replaced by current COO Dennis Muilenburg.  According to The Puget Sound Business Journal, labor groups hope for a better relationship with the new CEO given that he worked for years as an engineer before becoming an executive.  This is also good news for the region as a softened stance against unions could lead to more production in Washington state.  

Bill Dugovich, spokesman for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, said of Muilenburg:

“It is a good sign, that he’s had a long career at the Boeing Company, started as an intern, and was in one of our bargaining units for a number of years.”

In a release the union wrote:

“We welcome Boeing’s announcement that Dennis Muilenburg is taking over as CEO and encourage him to invest in the workforce and recognize the value of each and every employee at the Boeing Company.”


2 Comments on “Boeing CEO Taking $3.9M Annual Pension for 15 Years After Workers Were Forced Into 401Ks”

  1. Cold have funded the fixed pension for thousands of those workers forced into 401Ks

  2. Is there no morality among the CEO – set? How can this man accept the grosteque pension while millions of his employees are forced onto 401K plans?
    Why isn’t he forced onto 401K?
    Where is the moral outrage against such hypocrisy that damages so many while enriching himself and his family.

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