Randy DeFrehn sits at the center of the 10.4 million-participant-strong U.S. multiemployer pension plan universe. Executive director of the Washington-based National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans since 2000, the registered lobbyist is also primary spokesman and chief advocate for an additional 26 million active and retired U.S. workers and their families who receive multiemployer health benefits. In 2012, with buy-in from the NCCMP board, DeFrehn tapped more than 40 stakeholders in multiemployer, or Taft-Hartley, plans to create the Retirement Security Review Commission. The commission, whose task is to evaluate the multiemployer system and make recommendations to ensure long-term viability, expects its proposals to become the basis for legislation this year. Among them: Plan trustees should be able to partly suspend benefits to prevent insolvency. Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, DeFrehn, 61, got an early start in the labor movement, running a local mine workers union office at age 23. A benefits consultant for New Yorkbased consulting firm Segal Co. from 1986 to 1997, he joined the NCCMP after realizing that policy issues around retirement security were going to be a more active discussion going forward. DeFrehn worked on legislation including the 2006 Pension Protection Act and the Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008.
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