When the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy protection in
July, the cannon shot was heard from coast to coast. States and
municipalities across America are suffering major budget
shortfalls; not since the 1970s have U.S. civic finances felt
so tenuous. Rising pension costs are a big contributor to the
problem. Combined with the 2008 economic collapse and its
aftermath, those expenses have put the entire $7 trillion
defined benefit retirement system and millions of workers and
retirees in jeopardy.
Against that backdrop Institutional Investor has
compiled its inaugural ranking of the 40 most important players
in the fight for and against defined benefit
pensions. The Pension 40 covers not only public pensions but
corporate and Taft-Hartley, or multiemployer, plans. After more
than six months of research and reporting, we identified the
people who are doing the most to tackle the pension problem,
including reformers with new ideas.
Click name to view ranking profile.
The list spans the political right and left, academics,
activists, investment managers and advisers, and elected and
appointed officials. Some names, such as
Alicia Munnell (No. 33), director of the Center for
Retirement Research at Boston College, merit inclusion for
their years of work on retirement security. Others, like
Detroit emergency manager
Kevyn Orr (No. 7), make the list because recent events have
thrust them into the pension fray.
(Click here to watch II Editor
Michael Peltz discuss the ranking on CNBC's Squawk