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The 2015 Pension 40: Bailey Childers

No. 38 Bailey Childers, Executive Director / National Public Pension Coalition

38
Bailey Childers
Executive Director / National Public Pension Coalition
Last year’s rank: Not ranked

Though financial advisers never cease to point out the importance of early saving for building retirement nest eggs, many 30-somethings tend not to focus on that need — much less the needs of an entire class of workers. But retirement security is at the forefront of Bailey Childers’s consciousness. The 32-year-old graduate of Wellesley College rang in 2015 as the new executive director of the National Public Pension Coalition, a Washington-based organization founded in 2007 that works with state and local organizations to promote retirement security and the importance of defined benefit retirement plans for public sector workers. Before taking the helm at the NPPC, Childers served as a grassroots organizer for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the largest union of U.S. public workers, and at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based nonprofit research organization. “We have to look at what works for pension plans,” she says. With the 2008 financial crisis now receding, some pension systems have begun to recover, making this a good time to step back and assess the situation. Part of the discussion, Childers adds, should be “about how we get back to better models of shared risk,” as opposed to 401(k) plans, which some investors depleted when the going got rough. Another key area: retirement security for minorities, especially women, whose often-lower incomes make their 401(k)s particularly vulnerable. That’s especially the case when they have to take time off to care for children or parents, deepening their dependence on their husbands’ income.

The 2015 Pension 40
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