Filings Don’t Tell Full Pension Story

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Published in The Wall Street Journal November 3, 2009by Ellen E. Schultz and Tom McGinty

 
Companies are required to report the size of their top executives’ pensions, but sizing up the IOUs can require sleuthing through financial filings.
For one thing, the amounts shown in the pension table are rarely the full amount the executives are entitled to when they leave.
Disclosing the Minimum: Figures in Wells Fargo & Co.’s pension table show that President John Stumpf’s pension was $9.6 million in 2008, down 3% from the prior year. The “present value” can fall if the company changes the interest rate it uses to calculate the pension, or changes the measurement date.

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