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The 2015 Pension 40: W. Thomas Reeder Jr.

No. 35 W. Thomas Reeder Jr., Director / Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

W. Thomas Reeder Jr.
Director / Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
Last year’s rank: Not ranked

As the newly confirmed director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., W. Thomas Reeder Jr. is expected to strike a less strident tone than his predecessor Joshua Gotbaum (No. 15). Reeder, age 65, is a University of Texas School of Law graduate who has made a long trek through government. He was the benefits tax counsel in the office of tax policy in President George W. Bush’s Treasury Department, then moved to a staff job on the Senate Finance Committee and to the Internal Revenue Service under President Obama. Reeder’s ability to work both sides of the aisle helped him gain approval from a bitterly divided Congress. With the Obama administration heading into its final year, Reeder has several important jobs. First, he needs to shepherd implementation of the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. Criticism of the legislation, however, has focused on the sorry state of the PBGC’s own balance sheet — and this leads to job No. 2. In its November 2015 annual report, released a month after Reeder’s confirmation, the PBGC reported an increase in the deficit of its single-employer program to $24.1 billion from $19.3 billion; for multiemployer plans the shortfall rose to $52.3 billion from $42.4 billion. The size of the multiemployer gap caused Moody’s Investors Service to issue a note warning, “Despite current and potential future premium increases, there will come an inflection point where plan sponsors will not be able to afford premiums and the PBGC will run out of money.” The PBGC, Moody’s said, “estimates there is a greater than 50 percent chance it will be insolvent by 2025. It further extrapolates a 90 percent chance of insolvency by 2031. In 2016, Reeder must present these uncomfortable facts to Congress and ask for an increase in PBGC premiums.

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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