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The 2017 Pension Political Power 25: Wilbur Ross

< 25 Top Pension Power Players6. Wilbur RossSecretary of Commerce

If Congress approves his nomination to what some have called Donald Trump’s cabinet of deplorables, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, 79, will take center stage in the president’s plan to kick-start the U.S. manufacturing sector. But the so-called king of bankruptcy doesn’t seem to have room for pension funds in his vision of a successful turnaround. Ross made his billions by using a slash-and-burn cost-cutting strategy to drag companies back from the brink of collapse, then selling them for a profit. He punted billions of dollars in defined benefit pension liabilities to a government-owned bailout fund, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. As Commerce secretary, Ross would inherit one of three seats on the PBGC’s board, where he would oversee the takeover of retirement funds when companies phased out their defined benefit plans. Ironically, Ross’s boss has his own union pension: According to his financial disclosure filings, Trump has collected more than $168,000 from his Screen Actors Guild union pension — a benefit from his work on The Apprentice. — Jess Delaney


 The 2017 Pension Political Power 25Click below to view profiles
1. Andy PuzderSecretary of Labor2. Bruce RaunerGovernor of Illinois3. Betsy DeVosSecretary of Education4. Laura & John ArnoldFounders,
Laura and John Arnold Foundation5. Steven MnuchinSecretary of the Treasury
6. Wilbur RossSecretary of Commerce7. Tani Cantil-SakauyeCalifornia Chief Justice8. Paul RyanSpeaker of the House9. Anthony ScaramucciFounder, SkyBridge Capital10. Kevin de LeónCalifornia State Senator and President Pro Tempore
11. Mike EnziChairman, Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security12. Steve SweeneyPresident,
New Jersey State Senate13. Jerry BrownGovernor of California14. Corey LewandowskiCo-founder, Avenue Strategies15. Paul SingerPresident,
Elliott Management Corp.
16. Randel JohnsonSenior Vice President, Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits, U.S. Chamber of Commerce17. Joe ManchinU.S. Senator18. Kenneth FeinbergFounder and managingpartner, Feinberg Rozen19. Scott WalkerGovernor of Wisconsin20. Richard TrumkaPresident, AFL-CIO
21. Mike RawlingsMayor of Dallas22. Elizabeth WarrenU.S. Senator23. Kent MasonPartner,
Davis & Harman24. Bernie SandersU.S. Senator25. Randi WeingartenPresident, American Federation of Teachers