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The 2014 Pension 40: Phyllis Borzi

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Phyllis Borzi
Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security
U.S. Department of Labor
Last year: 13

Since she was appointed to oversee employee benefits at the Department of Labor in 2009, Phyllis Borzi, 67, has manned the trenches against the financial providers of retirement benefits. But time grows short as the Obama administration winds down. Borzi’s big issue — applying a fiduciary standard to advisers, including brokers — has run into a buzz saw of lobbying by industry groups that insist the plan will slash broker commissions and eliminate advice for lower-cost plans. Borzi, who continues to press for better disclosure on 401(k) providers, first proposed the fiduciary standards plan in 2010 and has battled the industry and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and faced pressure from the White House. Now there will be further delays until January while new Labor Secretary Thomas Perez meets with the financial providers. And to make matters worse, GOP Senator Orrin Hatch (No. 16), who wants to transfer 401(k) oversight from DoL to the Treasury, will be chairing the Senate Finance Committee. Borzi, a lawyer and former House staffer on pension issues — she’s known as the “mother of COBRA” — is an advocate for defined benefit plans and has long urged lifetime income options. In a speech before the Financial Services Roundtable, Borzi spoke of the 40th anniversary of ERISA in September 2014 and the shift of retirement benefits from defined benefit to defined contribution plans. “It’s not the same,” she said. “Our regulatory structure has not evolved.” Still, she says, “the reality is that defined contribution and IRA holdings have far outstripped the assets of DB plans, and it seems unlikely that we are turning back from that.”

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
6
7
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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12
13
14
15
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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17
18
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20
Orrin Hatch
Utah
Abigail Johnson
Fidelity Investments
Ted Wheeler
Oregon
Caitlin Long
Morgan Stanley
James Hoffa
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
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22
23
24
25
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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27
28
29
30
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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34
35
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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39
40
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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