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The 2014 Pension 40: Andy Stern

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Andy Stern
Senior Fellow
Columbia University
PNR

For Andy Stern, 64, the former organizing dynamo at the Service Employees International Union and now a senior fellow at Columbia University’s Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law and Public Policy, the pension crisis is part of a deeper problem with employment. Stern is finishing a book on the future of work, which struggles with the realities of not enough full-time jobs, growing inequality and a breakdown of the ERISA dream of lifetime security. Since leaving SEIU in 2009, Stern has hammered on the need for more-radical policies to stem the erosion of employee defined benefit pensions. Stern, always a controversial figure, raised hackles in the labor movement when he supported Gina Raimondo’s (No. 14) bid to become Rhode Island’s governor, despite her pension reform efforts, which have drawn union attack and litigation. Raimondo, he warns, is only one of many figures trying to do the right thing. “I feel sometimes that we forget that pensions are math, and when the math doesn’t work, you have to do something,” he explains. “Unfortunately, workers pay the price.” Stern sees a landscape full of well-meaning people who need to be brought together — he’s proud of a clause he and former New Hampshire Republican senator Judd Gregg inserted into the Simpson-Bowles report on the need for a national pension effort similar to the S&L and Wall Street bailouts — but he also notes the destructive tendencies of ideologues of all kinds. The idea he favors: a portable, national funding scheme that can provide defined-benefit-like income through annuities — not unlike, he says, Australia’s Superannuation Guarantee program.

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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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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