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The 2017 Pension Political Power 25: Andy Puzder

< 25 Top Pension Power Players1. Andy PuzderSecretary of Labor

Editors’ Note: Due to lack of support in the U.S. Senate, Andy Puzder has withdrawn his name for consideration to be Secretary of Labor. The editors of Institutional Investor will update this ranking when there is clarity surrounding the new nominee for this position.

As Donald Trump’s Labor secretary, Andy Puzder will lead the charge against workers’ rights for an administration that has committed to “make America great again” without the bedrock principles of modern organized labor: retirement security, access to health care, and a minimum wage. CEO of fast-food conglomerate CKE Restaurants, Puzder, 66, has a record of opposing increases to the minimum wage, new overtime rules and other regulations. When he assumes his new job, the Department of Labor boss and ERISA custodian — whose confirmation hearing is scheduled for February 2 — will find a host of pension issues on his doorstep. Key among them: leading the fight to gut the fiduciary rule, which forces investment advisers to act in clients’ best interests, and the thorny question of raising Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. premiums. The pension backstop lacks the funds to bail out all the plans it covers, but employers and unions are reluctant to pay more. In business Puzder has shown himself reluctant to lay much of his workers’ pension burden on his company: Hourly workers at CKE’s Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains aren’t unionized and don’t even have access to a 401(k) plan. The parent company’s 401(k) has no matching contribution or profit sharing, and its plan manager charges high fees. Puzder’s own financial disclosure form, filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, is due to be published any day and will show how much he himself has saved for retirement. — Michelle Celarier


 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