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The 2014 Pension 40: James Hoffa

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James Hoffa
General President
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
PNR

Like many elected officials, International Brotherhood of Teamsters general president James Hoffa has discovered that pension problems can grow into a serious headache. Teamster pensions are provided by so-called Taft-Hartley, or multiemployer, plans, which extend across many companies and industries. Organizing and funding tend to be closely intertwined: Plans in regions with new workers fare better than in those with aging populations. The Teamsters’ second-largest plan, the long-troubled Central States Pension Fund, may be facing insolvency over the next decade or two. Hoffa, the son of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa and a University of Michigan–trained lawyer who was first elected to run the union in 1998, finds himself in the middle of contending forces. On one side is Randy DeFrehn’s (No. 6) National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, which has pushed for congressional legislation to amend ERISA and allow plans to reduce benefits rather than drain funds dry — pension reform, Taft-Hartley style. But the Teamsters have a vocal left wing, suspicious of Hoffa and his team, and opposed to cutbacks. Hoffa has tried to shore up that flank: After endorsing Barack Obama in the 2008 election, he penned a fierce attack on aspects of health care reform in a 2013 letter, arguing it would “shatter our hard-earned health benefits.” Last year Hoffa rejected the NCCMP plan, despite its support from multiemployer plans like the Western Conference of Teamsters, but has said little since. Time is not on his side, despite his organizing successes since taking the Teamsters out of the AFL-CIO (along with the Service Employees International Union, then run by No. 37 Andy Stern) in 2005. Hoffa, 73, is up for reelection in 2016.

The 2014 Pension 40

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Bruce Rauner
Illinois
John and
Laura Arnold

Laura and John
Arnold Foundation
Randi Weingarten
American Federation of Teachers
Rahm Emanuel
Chicago
David Boies
Boies, Schiller & Flexner
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8
9
10
Randy DeFrehn
National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans
Damon Silvers
AFL-CIO
Laurence Fink
BlackRock
Chris Christie
New Jersey
Robin Diamonte
United Technologies Corp.
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Ted Eliopoulos
California Public Employees’ Retirement System
John Kline
Minnesota
J. Mark Iwry
U.S. Treasury Department
Gina Raimondo
Rhode Island
Phyllis Borzi
U.S. Labor Department
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Orrin Hatch
Utah
Abigail Johnson
Fidelity Investments
Ted Wheeler
Oregon
Caitlin Long
Morgan Stanley
James Hoffa
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
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Amy Kessler
Prudential Financial
Alejandro
García Padilla

Puerto Rico
Christopher Klein
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Caifornia
Steven Rhodes
Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Kevin de León
California
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David Draine
Pew Charitable Trusts
Jordan Marks
National Public Pension Coalition
Sam Liccardo
California
Joshua Rauh
Stanford Graduate School of Business
Karen Ferguson and Karen Friedman
Pension Rights Center
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Timothy Blake
Moody’s Investors Service
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University
Edward (Ted) Siedle
Benchmark Financial Services
Daniel Loeb
Third Point
Judy Mares
Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Labor Department
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Andrew Biggs
American Enterprise Institute
Andy Stern
Columbia University
Kenneth Mehlman
KKR & Co.
Teresa Ghilarducci
New School for Social Research
A. Melissa Moye
U.S. Treasury Department


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