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The 2015 Pension 40: Ted Wheeler

No. 20 Ted Wheeler, Treasurer / Oregon

Ted Wheeler
Treasurer / Oregon
Last year: 18

Nearly five years of work paid off in June for Ted Wheeler, 53, when Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a bill allowing for the creation of a private sector retirement savings plan for workers who can’t get one through their employers. Wheeler, Oregon’s state treasurer since 2010, was named chairman of the Oregon Retirement Savings Task Force in 2011, whose goal was to recommend a plan to the legislature for private sector workers. “There were people who thought it was the greatest thing ever and people who thought it was the beginning of the end for civilization,” says Wheeler, who has an undergraduate degree in economics from Stanford University, an MBA from Columbia University and a master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Many questioned whether the initiative was necessary considering the private retirement products available, but Wheeler contends that if employees don’t have access to auto-enrollment at work, all those options don’t help. “If we simply continue with the status quo, with about half of Americans not saving adequately for retirement, the cost to taxpayers will be staggering as more and more people rely upon costly government safety-net programs,” he says. Oregon’s $87.9 billion state retirement system was recently listed in a Wall Street Journal analysis as the fifth healthiest in the country, with 95.9 percent of future obligations funded. Wheeler, who is running for mayor of his hometown of Portland, attributes the system’s health to strong earnings, which he hopes will continue to improve with the impending adoption of BlackRock’s Aladdin portfolio management system.

The 2015 Pension 40

1. Bruce Rauner
2. John & Laura Arnold
Laura and John Arnold Foundation
3. Chris Christie
New Jersey
4. Randi Weingarten
AmericanFederation of Teachers
5. Phyllis Borzi
U.S. Department
of Labor
6. Kevin de León
7. Alejandro García Padilla
Commonwealth ofPuerto Rico
8. Laurence Fink
9. Rahm Emanuel
10. Sean McGarvey
North AmericanBuilding Trades Unions
11. John Kline
12. J. Mark Iwry
U.S. Treasury
13. Damon Silvers
14. Jeffrey Immelt
Electric Co.
15. Joshua Gotbaum
Brookings Institution
16. Robin Diamonte
United Technologies Corp.
17. Mark Mullet
18. Terry O'Sullivan
Laborers' International Union of North America
19. Raymond Dalio
Bridgewater Associates
20. Ted Wheeler
21. Thomas Nyhan
Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund
22. Karen Ferguson & Karen Friedman
Pensions Rights Center
23. Randy DeFrehn
National Coordinating Committee forMultiemployer Plans
24. Robert O'Keef
Motorola Solutions
25. Caitlin Long
Morgan Stanley
26. Kenneth Feinberg
The Law Offices
of Kenneth R. Feinberg
27. Orrin Hatch
28. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University
29. Ian Lanoff
Groom Law Group
30. Joshua Rauh
Stanford Graduate School of Business
31. Ted Eliopoulos
California Public Employees' Retirement System
32. Edward (Ted) Siedle
Benchmark Financial Services
33. Teresa Ghilarducci
New School for Social Research
34. Denise Nappier
35. W. Thomas Reeder Jr.
Pension BenefitGuaranty Corp.
36. Hank Kim
National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems
37. Paul Singer
Elliott Management Corp.
38. Bailey Childers
National PublicPension Coalition
39. Amy Kessler
Prudential Financial
40. Judy Mares
U.S. Labor Department

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