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The 2015 Pension 40: Orrin Hatch

No. 27 Orrin Hatch, U.S. Senator / Utah

Orrin Hatch
U.S. Senator / Utah
Last year’s rank: 16

As the second-most-senior member of the U.S. Congress, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, 81, is a veteran of the U.S. retirement wars. In 2013, Hatch, a Utahan who had served in the Senate since 1977, proposed the Secure Annuities for Employee (SAFE) Retirement Act. The bill extends multiple-employer savings plans to small businesses and encourages underfunded public pensions to buy annuities (thus shifting pension plans and their funding shortfalls from local governments to insurers). Hatch failed to get the bill through the Democratically controlled Senate, but his hope was renewed when the GOP won control of the Senate in last year’s midterm elections. In January 2015 the Pennsylvania native, who earned a JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1962, took over as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees retirement policy. Among his top priorities: new retirement savings incentives, including passage of his SAFE Retirement Act. “I remain convinced that my plan represents the best solution to the growing pension crisis in America,” Hatch said at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in January. Critics of the plan, which features a low-cost “starter 401(k)” and automatic enrollment, are particularly opposed to its intention to move ERISA oversight from the Labor Department to the Treasury Department. They also argue that the switch to annuities doesn’t address the bigger issue: the shortage of private sector savings. With Congress mostly gridlocked and a presidential election looming, Hatch has made little progress on the legislation in the 11 months he’s been committee chairman.

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. TreasuryDepartment
13. Damon Silvers
14. Jeffrey Immelt
General 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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