Supporters of pension funds argued before Congress that the plans play a critical role in ensuring retirement security and stimulating the economy.

At a recent meeting of the Joint Economic Committee, witnesses testified that pension funds also provide long-term, patient investment capital for businesses, technology and medical advancements. The hearing was called “Your Money, Your Future: Public Pension Plans and the Need to Strengthen Retirement Security and Economic Growth” and was organized by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).

“Pensions are much more than the cornerstone of retirement security,” said Beth Almeida, executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security. “As noted in the testimony, the assets held by pension funds make a significant contribution to the economy and provide capital to create new business and jobs.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Casey noted pensions’ role in recruiting workers and providing investment capital. He also expressed concern that “moving billions of dollars of retirement assets from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans adds substantially to the risk we are asking ordinary Americans to take.”

This is the second time in two months that the industry and its supporters have defended themselves to Capitol Hill. A letter was sent to Congress in June defending the financial soundness of state and local government pension systems.

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