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The 2014 Pension 40: Karen Ferguson and Karen Friedman


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Karen Ferguson and Karen Friedman
Founder and Director; Policy Director
Pension Rights Center
PNR

They’re known in pension circles as Team Karen. For a combined 70 years, Karen Ferguson and Karen Friedman have been working to protect and promote the retirement security of U.S. workers and retirees. Ferguson launched the Washington-based Pension Rights Center in February 1976 in response to the 1974 passage of ERISA. Her mandate has three prongs: to educate congressional members and the public on pension law, to ensure government agencies implement the law consistent with its intentions and to provide legal advice and training to help consumers resolve pension benefit problems. Ferguson, a Harvard Law School graduate who hired Friedman as policy director in 1980, proposed and lobbied for policies that became part of pension law, including the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 and the Retirement Equity Act of 1984. A major focus now is “to work for a better private retirement system that is secure, adequate and covers all Americans,” says Ferguson, whose new pension design, Retirement Security Funds, introduced at the center’s 2013 “Re-Imagining Pensions” conference, influenced recently retired Senator Tom Harkin’s USA Retirement Funds proposal. The PRC was the first to sound the alarm on the dangers of pension de-risking, publishing fact sheets about lump-sum buyouts, annuity transfers and pension freezes. Friedman, a Georgetown University graduate who testifies before congressional committees, led the recent challenge to Internal Revenue Service rulings conferring ERISA-exempt “church plan” status on pension plans run by religiously affiliated organizations that are not churches.




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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