Joint Hearing of Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the Committee on Finance on Retirement Plans in the Private Sector
[The prepared statement of Senator Baucus follows:]
Prepared Statement of Senator Baucus
Thank you, Chairman Enzi and Chairman Grassley, for holding this forum on the future of employer-sponsored retirement plans. I am pleased to be here with Senator Kennedy and other members of our two committees, to learn from the stakeholders who have joined us today.
Winston Churchill said: ``It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look furthr than you can see.'' Retirement savings is a long-term challenge ahead. Today we try to see into that long term, to see as far as we can see.
Two weeks ago, the Finance Committee held a hearing on the financial status of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, and the administration's funding proposal for defined benefit plans. It was a timely hearing about a difficult subject that we have to address in the next few months.
But today we get to climb above those immediate concerns and lift our eyes to the challenges of the future.
Not the least of these challenges will be accelerating global competition. We have to work to create an environment where we can compete successfully on the global stage.
But in doing so, we must remember why success matters. Success matters so that American workers can have a good life, so that Americans who work hard can share in the success of this country. It is thus important to see the future through the lens of benefits for workers. And that is why we are here today.
James Thurber said, ``It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.'' Then we are on the right track with this forum. We have thought-provoking questions to focus our discussion, and a diverse group of experienced individuals here to join us in our exploration.
I expect that we will hear different opinions not only of how the future will look, but how it should look. In other words, when we leave today, I expect that we will have more questions than answers. And that will be a good thing.
I look forward to today's far-sighted discussion. And then I look forward to tackling the challenges that we will see.