Attendees Honor Pension Defenders,
Gain Insights into Pension Trends
Participants in the 2018 CORPaTH Crystal Globe Awards Banquet and Summit gained deep insights into important trends and developments in the pension world and hailed leaders of the defined-benefit pension community for their service in protecting, promoting and perpetuating the cause of lifetime income security for working people.
The information started flowing immediately after the attendees first took their seats in the Roman Ballrooms of Caesars Palace Las Vegas on Dec. 11, when Stanley Iezman of American Realty Advisors kicked off the annual Crystal Globe Awards Banquet with a data-packed presentation on the aging of America’s population and its potential effects on pensions.
Afterward, CORPaTH Executive Director Ron Auer introduced James Meketa of Meketa Investment Group, who delivered a stirring critique of policies that have devastated America’s middle class and crushed the hopes of economic security for millions.
Noting that 66% of Americans have less than $1,000 in retirement savings, he said: “People have been saying Americans aren’t saving enough. The fact is they are not earning enough!”
Following dinner, Master of Ceremonies Hank Kim of NCPERS presided over the presentation of CORPaTH’s Crystal Globe Awards to renowned Pension Defenders, including:
- Rick A. Silva, executive director of the UFCW & Employers Trust, LLC, which administers nine ERISA benefit plans covering 130,000 people in Northern California. He was introduced by Safeway, Inc. executive Frank Jorgensen, who praised Silva for his high standards and innovative leadership.
- Greg Tarpinian, senior managing director at EnTrustPermal and a veteran labor economist and advocate for unions and defined-benefit pensions. He was introduced by Gregg Hymowitz,chairman and chief executive officer of EnTrustPermal, who hailed his colleague’s dedication to the welfare of working people.
- Denise L. Nappier, treasurer of Connecticut. A video described how, as the first African-American woman elected to serve as a state treasurer in the United States, Nappier oversees $63 billion in state funds, including the $34 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds.
The awards banquet concluded with a performance by humorist Nick Arnette, who illustrated his message of good cheer and benevolencewith slides of schools in Kenya where he oversees projects to build classrooms and support teachers.
Director Ron Aueropened CORPaTH’s 2018 Summit the following morning with welcoming remarks and an introduction to Jacques Loveall, chair of the UFCW & Employers Benefit Trust.
Loveall shared a moving video featuring union members and retirees who attended last year’s CORPaTH Summit to thank the alliance for its defense of their pensions. Several of them returned to the Summit stage to reiterate their appreciation.
Addressing the need to make the concept of defined-benefit pensions more accessible to the public, Loveall then presented a video introducing their rebranding as Lifetime Income Security Accounts (LISA). The video depicted a retiree who has learned to appreciate the unwavering support of LISA, personified as a loving friend and companion.
NEPC partner John Elliot then introduced a video explaining the Strategic Healthcare Initiative, which enables pension funds to invest in ownership of healthcare delivery to union workers.
Subsequent presentations at the 2018 CORPaTH Summit included:
- A concise yet comprehensive summation of congressional initiatives — past, present and pending — to preserve pensions, delivered by Jason L. Russell of Segal Consulting in Washington, D.C.
- A presentation on “Positive Revenue Impacts of Public Defined-Benefit Plans” by Michael Kahn, director of research at NCPERS and president of the Institute on Public Pension Solutions. Kahn shared data showing how state and local governments profit through their public-employee pensions in amounts far outweighing their liabilities.
- A panel discussion on defined-benefit pensions featuring past and current Crystal Globe Award recipients Hank Kim, Rick Silva and Greg Tarpinian.
- A panel of leading pension fund consultants featuring Tim McCusker (NEPC), Jeff MacLean (Verus), Steve McCourt (Meketa Investment Group), John Marco (Segal Marco Advisors) and Ron Peyton (Callan & Associates).
At the conclusion of the 2018 CORPaTH Crystal Globe Awards Banquet and Summit, Director Auer invited all of the attendees to return for next year’s events, scheduled for Dec. 17 and 18, 2019 at Caesars Palace Las Vegas.