In a post regarding "The End of Pensions," Brad DeLong notes:
I think Andrew misses an additional important aspect of the situation. When pension funds (and health benefit programs) become large relative to the size of the firm, the retired and the sick join the bondholders and the stockholders as claimants on the firm's cash flow, but the retired and the sick don't have any place in the firm's corporate governance structure, and claimants on a firm's cash flow should have a place somewhere.I agree. Last April, I suggested that DB plan participants be moved ahead of all other unsecured claimants in bankruptcy, in the context of how to protect current and past workers if the PBGC were eliminated. I don't know if that's enough, but it is a start, and I would equally well recommend it for all deferred compensation claims of rank-and-file workers, including retiree health benefits.