By Karen Friedman
I went crazy with happiness last night when the Washington DC Capitals (Caps) beat the Golden Knights to capture the Stanley Cup, the beautiful silver trophy awarded to the team that wins the playoffs in hockey. The Capitals have waited 44 years for this win – and it couldn’t be sweeter for the teammates or their fans!
But this isn’t just about hockey, folks. This is about the beauty of focus, of teamwork, of keeping our collective eyes on the goal and continuing to take shots no matter how long it takes. It is about being persistent, keeping a positive attitude and not letting the naysayers knock your confidence, and of never ever giving up.
I mention all this because, well, these are all the qualities it takes to win on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in changing hearts and minds to create a retirement income system in this country that makes sense and that serves all American workers and retirees.
1. We can and must solve the multiemployer crisis: Sure, it has been four years since the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA) was passed and we need a better solution in Congress. Don’t get frustrated. We’ve made a lot of progress. Now is the time to do the vocal equivalent of shooting pucks at the net, by raising your voices in Congress and telling members of the Joint Select Committee to pass a bill that is fair to retirees and workers and saves plans. We CAN win on this.
2. Preserve the best plans and create new retirement income designs for the future. We need to keep fighting for a system that works today and tomorrow, by expanding Social Security, working to preserve the pension plans that work today while also designing a new adequate and secure pension system for the future. Don’t listen to the chants that say, “it can’t be done,” but trust that we can be victors in retirement security.
The Caps have been around since 1974, the Pension Rights Center since 1976. And we’ve seen victories and defeats, we’ve won a lot of battles and we’ve lost some too. But we always come back. And we know it’s not just about us, it’s about spreading our vision of a just retirement system and working with other organizations and hundreds of thousands of retirees and workers to get the job done. Sometimes we take the shots and sometimes we just assist. But it takes all of us working together. Let’s win the Stanley Cup for retirement security.