Julie Su, President Joe Biden's nominee for deputy secretary of labor, if confirmed, would focus a lot of her attention on protecting workers and assisting people who are out of work, but also on helping secure people's retirements, she said during her Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday.
Ms. Su is currently secretary of the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency, where she oversees the state departments and boards that enforce labor laws, fund workforce training and apprenticeship programs, and provide state disability and unemployment insurance benefits.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2019 appointed Ms. Su as his Cabinet adviser on labor issues and employment programs for workers and businesses throughout the state.
Most of the questions directed to Ms. Su during Tuesday's Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing did not focus on retirement issues, but Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., did broach the subject, noting that "Americans of all ages are struggling to save for retirement, and many American workers and retirees are at risk of outliving their retirement savings."
In response, Ms. Su said last week's passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which included a provision creating a federal assistance program for struggling multiemployer pension funds, was crucial.
"Retirement savers also need to get the kind of advice that they need to make sure that they're investing their retirement (savings) in the best way possible," Ms. Su said.
Ms. Hassan followed up with a question about the cybersecurity of defined contribution plans. On Monday, the Government Accountability Office released a report recommending the Labor Department make clear whether a fiduciary is responsible for mitigating cybersecurity risks in DC plans and to establish minimum expectations for addressing cybersecurity risks in those plans.
Ms. Hassan said the issue is critical and to address it is "going to take convening not only government experts and agencies, but the private sector, too, because this has to be a joint effort and it's critically important to the economic security of so many Americans."
Ms. Su said there's "tremendous expertise in the private sector" that could help tackle the issue and she looks "forward to learning about partnerships that already exist and building on those and also finding where there are gaps and making sure that we fill them."
Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., said she intends to schedule a committee vote on Ms. Su's nomination "as quickly as possible."