NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Workers Now Owners

December 27, 1996

Few may realize it, but workers now own a major portion of U.S. business assets through their pension funds.

  • According to Pension and Investment Age, as of the end of last year, the 100 largest U.S. pension funds had assets exceeding $2 trillion.
  • The aggregate market value of the 41 sponsoring companies was $1.2 trillion.
  • Thus, the 100 largest U.S. pension funds could easily own all the shares of the 41 companies.
  • Individually, the employee pension funds of 14 of these corporations exceeded the total market value of their respective stocks.

Thus, through their pension funds, the employees of General Motors, Boeing, Ford, USX, Lockheed Martin, Westinghouse, Delta Airlines and others could buy all of the stock of the respective companies.

Most of the other largest 100 pension plans which are not company-related are plans for public employees.

  • The California Public Employees Retirement Plan has assets exceeding $92 billion -- a sum sufficient to buy all the stock of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford.
  • The Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement Plan -- worth over $430 billion -- could have bought out USX, Alcoa, USAir and Westinghouse.

Source: Ronald H. Muhlenkamp (Muhlenkamp Fund), "The U.S. Triumph of Workers' Capitalism," Investor's Business Daily, December 27, 1996.


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