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The 2015 Pension 40: Randy DeFrehn

No. 23 Randy DeFrehn Executive Director / National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans

Randy DeFrehn
Executive Director / National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans
Last year’s rank: 6

Randy DeFrehn, a former benefits consultant at Segal Co., scored a career success at the end of last year, when he helped shepherd the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 through Congress as an add-on to a year-end omnibus bill during the December lame-duck session. The MPRA, a revision to ERISA, allows trustees of “severely troubled” multiemployer pension funds to cut promised benefits to plan members; it could apply to 20 percent of those plans, which cover a total of 10.4 million union members. Among the bill’s staunchest opponents are Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has sponsored a bill aimed at reversing MPRA; the Pension Rights Center (No. 22); and many union officials. “No plan has to do this except for ones headed for insolvency,” says DeFrehn, 63, who has lobbied for the Taft-Hartley community since 2001, when he became executive director of the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans. The idea behind pension cutbacks — as first outlined in a 2013 NCCMP report, “Solutions Not Bailouts” — was to save a partial benefit for participants in failing plans now rather than wait for the money to run out. The report also recommended redesigning current pension plans to create a pooled defined contribution model, an idea introduced in a congressional hearing earlier this year.

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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