Readout: Secretary Walsh launches series of US Department of Labor retirement security reform roundtables, welcomes new stakeholders’ views
WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh visited New York City today for the first in a series of roundtable discussions on how to build better retirement security for the nation's workers.
The Secretary and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the Secretary's representative for pensions and retirement, joined Rep. Jerry Nadler, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew and investment fund managers, educators, advocacy group leaders and others to review current retirement security policies and the need for reform.
"Every single American worker should be able to retire with security. It's fundamental to the dignity of work, and fundamental to our mission at the Department of Labor," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. "In this nationwide campaign, we want to hear all the challenges people are facing, in every industry and at every stage of their career – and we want to hear about solutions as well. We want to work collaboratively to improve our nation's retirement system so that no one has to worry about outliving their money. I'm grateful to all the stakeholders helping us launch this vital conversation."
Other participants at today's event included BlackRock Managing Director Anne Ackerley; Tax Counsel in the Office of Sen. Robert Menendez, Jennifer Brown; Main Street Alliance Executive Director Chanda Causer; State Street Managing Director, Brendan Curran; Boston College Center for Retirement Research Associate Director, Andrew Eschtruth; New School for Social Research's Schwartz Center for Economic Policy, Dr. Teresa Ghilarducci; Main Street Alliance member Diana Mora; AARP Executive Vice President & Chief Public Policy Officer, Debra Whitman; NAACP Vice President Patrice Willoughby; and Millennial Action Project President and CEO Layla Zaidane.
In the coming months, Kennedy Townsend will host similar discussions around the country to promote retirement security reform and open a dialogue between unions, the private sector and non-profits on retirement reform. The discussions will also focus on the following policy areas:
- Encouraging all employers to offer auto-enrollment plans so that employees can easily save.
- Making it easy to carry one's retirement benefits from job to job.
- Transforming lump-sum payments to lifetime income that is affordable and easy to understand.