November 19, 2019

The American Pension Crisis Seminar

In November 2019, the Alliance for Retired Americans hosted more than two dozen speakers from unions and government agencies, as well as bankruptcy attorneys, young workers and others, to address the growing pension crisis and the effects of corporate bankruptcy on millions of Americans.

During the two-day event, attendees also discussed other pillars of retirement security, including Social Security and Medicare.

Highlights included:

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka spoke about the need to protect pension benefits when companies declare bankruptcy, stressing that bankruptcy laws are not designed to protect retirees who worked hard their entire lives – instead, they protect the millionaires and CEOs.

Elizabeth Shuler, Executive Vice President of the Alliance and Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, called for passage of two pieces of legislation pending in Congress to provide immediate relief to millions of workers at risk of losing their earned pension and health benefits: the American Miners Act of 2019 and the Butch Lewis Act.

Conference presentations are below.

Neil Gladstein, IAMAW Director of Strategic Resources

 

 

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Former Maryland Lieutenant Governor

 

Sarah Tammelleo, Assistant to the President Research and Strategic Initiatives Department for AFT

 

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Sarah Tammelleo

 

 

Peter Hardcastle, FSA, EA at Cheiron

 

Phil Smith, UMWA Director of Communications and Governmental Affairs

 

Tiffany Ricci, Associate Director of Communications for AFSCME

 

Brian Klopp, AFSCME Labor Economist

 

Elizabeth Shuler, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer

 

Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President

 

Panel Moderator Sharon Levine

 

Cecil Roberts, President of UMWA

 

Ann Miller, Investment Banker at Cowen

 

Israel Goldowitz, partner with The Wagner Law Group and former staffer at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

 

Michael Artz, AFSCME Associate General Counsel

 

David Neigus, Labor Attorney

 

Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance for Retired Americans

 

Raymond Peeler, Assistant Legal Counsel for Coordination, Office of Legal Counsel for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

 

Mariah Becker, Director of Research and Education for the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans

 

Nolan Harrison, Senior Director, Former Players Services for the NFL Players Association

 

Jacque Simon, Policy Director for the American Federation of Government Employees

 

Karen Friedman, Executive V.P. and Policy Director for the Pension Rights Center

 

Emily Spreiser, Legal Program Director for the Pension Rights Center

 

Dan Doonan, Executive Director for the National Institute of Retirement Security

 

Christine Kieffer, Senior Director of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation

 

Brendan Kelly, Panel Moderator and Director of Field Mobilization for the Alliance for Retired Americans

 

Jennifer Brown, Associate Director of Economic Policy at Unidos US

 

Tyler Bond, National Institute on Retirement Security Research Manager

 

Abigail Zapote, Executive Director of Latinos for a Secure Retirement

 

 

Presentations

Bankruptcy Panel Presentation
Michael Artz, Associate General Counsel for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Current Legislative Events for Multiemployer Plans
Mariah Becker, Director of Research and Education for the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans

Younger Worker Retirement Panel Presentation
Tyler Bond, Research Manager for the National Institute for Retirement Security

Pensions v. 401(k)s
Dan Doonan, Executive Director of the National Institute for Retirement Security

Social Security
Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans

Pension De-Risking Harms Workers
Neil Gladstein, Director, Strategic Resources International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Bankruptcy Panel Presentation
Israel Goldowitz, The Wagner Law Group, PBGC (retired)

The State of Pensions; Central States
Peter Hardcastle, Cheiron

Investment Scams
Christine Kieffer, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

Public Sector Plans
Brian Klopp, Labor Economist for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

5500 Forms Early Warnings
Mary Margaret Prange, Partner, Calibre CPA Group

Empowering Pension Managers
Tiffany Ricci, Associate Director of Communications for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Bankruptcy Panel Presentation
Cecil Roberts, President of the United Mineworkers of America

Retirement Security Crisis
Sarah Tammelleo, Assistant to the President Research and Strategic Initiatives Department for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

Younger Worker Retirement Panel Presentation, Retirement Solutions and Evolving Policy Options
Abigail Zapote, Executive Director of Latinos for a Secure Retirement

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Topics: Pensions
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