The Democratic Party begins its convention today in Philadelphia. The Democrats will nominate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be their presidential nominee and Senator Tim Kaine to be her running mate. The party will also approve the party platform for the upcoming general election. Why does this matter? Because the Democratic Party platform contains a clear call to protect pensions.
Last week in Cleveland, the Republican Party also approved its party platform. The Republican Party platform was largely silent on the critical issue of retirement security, aside from disparaging remarks about the benefits of federal government employees and calls to make radical changes to Social Security.
The Democratic Party platform could not be more different. The Democratic Party not only calls for protecting Social Security, the most successful governmental program in history, but also for expanding it. The party platform also explicitly advocates for protecting pensions :
“Democrats believe it should be easier for Americans to save for retirement and prepare for unforeseen risks and expenses. We will defend the right of workers to collect their defined benefit pensions and make sure workers get priority and protection when pension plans are in distress. Democrats will also fight to enact legislation to make sure that the earned pension benefits of Americans will not be cut…”
By recognizing that every American deserves to retire with dignity and respect, the Democratic Party has acknowledged the crucial need to protect retirement security for working families.
Back in June, NPPC submitted testimony to the Democratic National Committee urging them to include protecting retirement security in the party’s platform (you can read our testimony here). We are heartened to see that they listened to the voices of teachers, firefighters, nurses, librarians, and other public employees from across the nation. Retirement security is an issue that often goes unaddressed in the presidential campaign and we are glad to see that one party, at least, is willing to put the issue front and center.