Moving Forward on Retirement Security
Embracing Globalization and Demographic Change
September 13, 2005
Retirement income security remains a major priority for the United States. Over the past three decades, the United Kingdom has undergone numerous changes in its retirement system, which resembles the U.S. system in important ways. Since becoming Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, after the U.K. election in May, The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP has begun a process of consensus building, launching a national debate with the aim of forging a long-term solution to the future security of retirement savings. Mr. Blunkett will discuss the past experiences of the U.K in reforming its system, highlight some of the issues being raised in the current U.K. debate and focus on the challenges of delivering long-term solutions for a modern world facing rapid globalization and demographic change.
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| David Blunkett was appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in May 2005. Mr. Blunkett was first elected to Parliament in June 1987, representing the Sheffield Brightside seat. He was Shadow Secretary of State for Health 1992-94 and then took over the education and employment brief when Tony Blair became leader. He became Education and Employment Secretary following the 1997 General Election and was appointed Home Secretary in 2001. Born in 1947, Mr. Blunkett has an honors degree in Political Theory and Institutions, a Post Graduate Certificate in further education teaching and a National Certificate in Business Studies. He spent his early career in local and regional government and was leader of Sheffield City Council from 1980 to 1987. Mr. Blunkett has four sons and enjoys walking, sailing, music and poetry.
| John Podesta is the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress and visiting Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. Podesta served as Chief of Staff to President William J. Clinton from October 1998 until January 2001, where he was responsible for directing, managing, and overseeing all policy development, daily operations, Congressional relations, and staff activities of the White House. He coordinated the work of cabinet agencies with a particular emphasis on the development of federal budget and tax policy, and served in the President’s Cabinet and as a Principal on the National Security Council. From 1997 to 1998 he served as both an Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff. Earlier, from January 1993 to 1995, he was Assistant to the President, Staff Secretary and a Senior Policy Adviser on government information, privacy, telecommunications security and regulatory policy. Podesta previously held a number of positions on Capitol Hill including: Counselor to Democratic Leader Senator Thomas A. Daschle; Chief Counsel for the Senate Agriculture Committee; Chief Minority Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks; Security and Terrorism; and Regulatory Reform; and Counsel on the Majority Staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Podesta is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Knox College.