Kuhl and Pension Risk

Time's Jay Newton-Small has been studying the Pension Protection Act of 2006. That bill made automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans the default for employers. Randy Kuhl's role in the bill isn't the stuff of political dreams. He wanted to allow risky hedge fund investments in pension funds:

But that bill opened up pension funds to huge new risks. The legislation relaxed regulations to make it easier for hedge funds and financial institutions to hold large stakes in the pension funds without the fiduciary duties that usually come with investing in people’s retirement. This was a controversial provision that even the White House and Senate Republicans were leery of – Dems mostly opposed it – but House Republicans were adamant in seeing it included in the bill. In fact the original language of these provisions – introduced as an amendment in committee by Republican Representatives John “Randy” Kuhl of New York and Rob Andrews of New Jersey – called for even greater changes to the system: allowing hedge funds and financial institutions to hold up to 50% stakes in pensions funds.