Bill Clinton's now-famous “It's the economy, stupid” quip-that-became-a-slogan during the 1992 presidential campaign may well fit this year's battle, but more than a dozen organizations want both candidates to know the bigger — maybe the biggest — issues are retirement and health care.
“We don't see retirement issues getting as much attention as a number of other issues out there,” said Sal L. Tripodi, president of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries, one of 13 organizations representing employee benefits professionals along with Pensions & Investments that recently submitted more than 20 questions to presidential hopefuls Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
“We want to use this opportunity to bring this issue to the forefront in the presidential campaign,” Mr. Tripodi said in an interview.
The full list of questions is available here.
The questions were gathered and sent to the campaigns by Sam Gilbert, president of The Pension Forum and of United Plan Administrators, Westlake Village, Calif., a consulting organization that works with small-business retirement plans.
“Health care and retirement are central to our economy and our nation at this time,” Mr. Gilbert said in an interview. “These are paramount issues.”
In addition to ASPPA and P&I, organizations that submitted questions were: the National Small Business Association, Employers Council on Flexible Compensation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association for the Self-Employed, American Academy of Actuaries' Pension Practice Council, National Association of Women Business Owners, Society of Professional Benefit Administrators, National Retail Federation, the National Institute of Pension Administrators, Profit Sharing/401k Council of America, the Small Business Council of America and the Pension Forum.