Thousands of workers at U.S. Sugar thought they were getting a good
deal when the company shelved their pension plan and gave them stock for their
retirement instead. They had a heady sense of controlling their own destiny as
they became the company’s biggest shareholders, Vic McCorvey, a former farm
manager there, said.
“It was always stressed to me, as manager of that 20,000-acre farm,
that the better you do, the higher your stock will be and the more retirement
you could get,” Mr. McCorvey said. “That’s why I worked six and seven days a
week, 14 hours a day,” slogging through wet and buggy cane fields, doing
whatever it took.
It's a win-win, right? The workers will have more because they made it into more.
Now that many U.S. Sugar workers are reaching retirement age, though, the
company has been cashing them out of the retirement plan at a much lower price
than they could have received. Unknown to them, an outside investor was offering
to buy the company — and their shares — for far more. Longtime employees say
they have lost out on tens of thousands of dollars each and millions of dollars
as a group, while insiders of the company came out ahead.
Remember these stories anytime a snake-oil salesman like Paul Ryan comes along trying to sell you an the wisdom of turning your retirement over to his pals on Wall Street.
Now, go read the rest of the story