John Thain may have taken a stiff pay cut when he became chief executive officer of the New York Stock Exchange in 2004, but he didn't leave a huge pension benefit.
In his Jan. 15, 2004, letter to then-NYSE Chairman John Reed accepting the offer to become CEO, Mr. Thain, who joined Goldman Sachs & Co. in 1979, said he was entitled to a pension of about $7,000 a year from Goldman upon his retirement from the firm.
Mr. Thain wrote: "I propose to leave this pension in place due to (i) the de minimis amount involved, (ii) the fact that the payment of the pension is not dependent upon the business activities of Goldman Sachs and (iii) the fact that, presumably, I will have retired from the exchange prior to commencement of payment of this benefit from Goldman Sachs."
If he remains at the Big Board until he's 65, Mr. Thain will be entitled to a pension of about $1.4 million a year, based on his current $4 million a year salary.
In 2003, he earned about $20 million at Goldman Sachs, including restricted stock.