Pension Grift

JJ Hicks
2 min readSep 20, 2022

The building was brand new. The business was growing by leaps and bounds.

We were hired to help with the systems that ran the warehouse.

We got to know the people that worked in the warehouse and who lived in the small town. It was one of the few businesses that had a pension program.

The implementation had the usual bumps but finally the new operation was up and running. The business was humming.

As we grew closer we learned that the employees were more motivated, more happy to grow and strengthen the business. We asked one person that we knew what caused the change.

The generous pension plan was booming too. Some tenured people were actually becoming millionaires. Newer employees could see reaching that level. They were happy with the fruits of their labor. They loved the company and they gave it their all.

With our work done we left but we kept in contact with some of the people — strong connection were made. We met for drinks a handful of times over the next couple of years.

A few years after that we set up a time to reconnect — an anniversary of sorts — but they didn’t respond back. Things change. Life changes. We understood. But then we saw in the paper why they had gone silent. The owner raided the pension program — it had become more profitable than the business itself. He hired a law firm with the money he stole to delay legal action, took all the money and moved south.

The people had lost their retirements. They only had their hourly wage which now as cut by the new owners. Not long after competition and the varying nature of the business left the building empty. Now it holds machine parts, dust, and stolen dreams.

Akin to this is companies that use layoffs to avoid paying severance. I’ve known long tenured employees shown the door under the umbrella of a layoff not receive a dime as a thank you for their service. I was laid off from a job once that I spent a year and a half at and I received more severance then those I knew who worked at company I knew for twenty years. #chronicstress

JJ Hicks

JJ Hicks is an author in the wee-hours of the morning and an IT Leader by day. You can find out more about me at