Responses to the Pension Crisis (2017)

Day 1

Opening Remarks: Alliance President Robert Roach


PBGC 101

Officials from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) discussed bankruptcy, the Early Warning Program, and multiemployer plans.


  • Anne Henderson, Management & Program Analyst
  • Connie Markakis, Assistant General Counsel
  • Amy Viener, Senior Policy Actuary
  • Chuck Finke, Deputy General Counsel

PBGC Followup: Alliance President Robert Roach

Alliance President Robert Roach follows up on the PBGC 101 presentations.

Multi Employer Pension Plans

Phil Smith, with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), spoke about multiemployer pension plans.


  • Phil Smith, Director of Communications and Government Affairs


SIPTU College: Ireland Pensions Presentation

Officials from the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) did a video conference about the status of pensions in Ireland.


  • Denis Gormalley, SIPTU Assistant Organiser
  • Teresa Hannick, SIPTU Sectoral Organiser
  • John McCarrick, SIPTU Sectoral Organiser


Collectively Bargaining Defined Benefit Plans

Note: due to technical difficulties, audio does not start until 2 minutes and 57 seconds into the video.


  • Neil Gladstein, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)
  • Beth Almeida, principal at Cove Research


Hedge Fund and Private Equity Overview

Elizabeth Parisian, with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), discussed the role of hedge funds and private equity and the under funding of pensions.


  • Elizabeth Parisian, Assistant Director for Research and Strategic Initiatives


Calibre CPA Group

Glen Eyrich and Mary Margaret Prange, with Calibre CPA Group, give a pension plan compliance update and discuss alternative investments.


  • Glen Eyrich, Partner – Pension Plan Compliance Update
  • Mary Margaret Prange, Partner – Alternative Investments

Calibre CPA Group Followup Remarks: Alliance President Robert Roach

Trends Shaping the Retirement Security of American Workers

Karen Friedman and Emily Spreiser, with the Pension Rights Center, gave an overview of the trends their organization has identified regarding pensions and retirement security.


  • Karen Friedman,   Executive Vice President and Policy Director
  • Emily Spreiser, Legal Program Director


The CWA-AVAYA Experience

Guerino J. Calemine and Lisa Bolton discussed the Communication Workers of America (CWA) experience with the telecommunications company Avaya and its exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.


  • Guerido J. Calemine, III “Jody,” CWA general counsel
  • Lisa Bolton, CWA vice president


Challenges and Solutions for the Multiemployer System

Mariah Becker, with the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP), which protects and advocates for multiemployer pension plans, discussed her organization’s work.


  • Mariah Becker, Director of Research and Education

Day 2

Opening Remarks: Alliance President Robert Roach


AFSCME Presentations

Detroit in Bankruptcy

Michael Artz, with American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), gives an overview of Detroit’s bankruptcy proceedings.

Empowering Pension Messengers

Tiffany Ricci, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), discusses messaging and how to engage activists on pension issues.

 State and Local Pensions, Yesterday and Today

Brian Klopp, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), discusses the past and future of state and local pensions. 


  • Michael Artz, Associate General Counsel
  • Tiffany Ricci, Associate Director of Communications
  • Brain Klopp, Labor Economist from the Department of Research and Collective Bargaining Services

Social Security and Medicare

Richard Fiesta, with the Alliance for Retired Americans, provided an overview of the status of Social Security and Medicare.


  • Richard Fiesta, Executive Director

United Airlines Bankruptcy & Pension Termination: What Really Happened

A panel discussion going in depth about the story behind the United Airlines bankruptcy and pension termination and negotiations.


Erosion of Federal Pensions

Jacque Simon, with American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), discusses how to combat the erosion of federal pensions.


  • Jacque Simon, Policy Director


Closing Remarks: Alliance President Robert Roach, Jr.

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