Symposium Highlights New Research On Retirement Security And Innovation

TIAA Institute and Wharton School’s Pension Research Council release six research papers

WASHINGTON (June 22, 2017) – The TIAA Institute and the Pension Research Council (PRC) of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School today showcased new, innovative research on retirement security and other topics designed to increase financial well-being for U.S. workers and employers.

Charles “Chuck” Blahous, director of the Spending and Budget Initiative and a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, gave the morning keynote address at the TIAA Institute Fellows Symposium, followed by a Q and A with TIAA President and CEO Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., and TIAA Institute fellows in attendance. 

The reports highlighted a wide variety of retirement-related issues affecting the unique needs of the U.S. working population. These include analysis of evaluated factors associated with longer work lives among working women and their plans to continue working at older ages, exploring how target-date funds and annuitization interact in individuals’ retirement planning decisions, looking at the longevity risk of outliving one’s retirement savings, and how modest changes in the laws and regulations governing pensions and annuities could promote secure retirement incomes. The reports issued were:

  • “Financial Communications and Asset Allocation Decisions: The Effects of Reading Style, Financial Knowledge, and Individual Differences,” by J. Wesley Hutchinson, Gal Zauberman, Robert Botto
  • “How Do Distributions from Retirement Accounts Respond to Early Withdrawal Penalties? Evidence from Administrative Tax Returns,” by Gopi Shah Goda, Damon Jones, Shanthi Ramnath
  • “Older Women’s Labor Market Attachment, Retirement Planning, and Household Debt,” by Annamaria Lusardi and Olivia S. Mitchell
  • “Putting the Pension Back in 401(k) Plans: Optimal versus Default Longevity Income Annuities,” by Olivia S. Mitchell, Raimond Maurer, Vanya Horneff
  • “Removing the Legal Impediments to Offering Lifetime Annuities in Pension Plans,” by Jonathan Forman
  • “Target-Date Funds, Annuitization, Retirement Investing, and Annuities,” by Chester S. Spatt

“TIAA is committed to helping the people we serve achieve financial well-being,” said Ferguson. “The TIAA Institute Fellows Program – and the rigorous research and thought leadership it produces – is vitally important to our efforts. We are thrilled to be able to share some of this innovative research during the TIAA Institute Fellows Symposium.”

“The TIAA Institute Fellows Symposium brings together notable researchers and thought leaders to discuss issues that pertain to everyday Americans,” said Stephanie Bell-Rose, senior managing director and head of the TIAA Institute. “Our fellows are a cornerstone of the TIAA Institute’s research program, and we thank them for providing insights, examining key issues and finding solutions for people looking to have a secure financial future.”

“On behalf of the Pension Research Council, we are delighted to collaborate with the TIAA Institute in identifying and nurturing new research on retirement security,” said Olivia S. Mitchell, PRC director and professor of risk management/insurance and business economics/policy at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

To view the reports from the symposium in full, please click here.

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Mike Tetuan



About the TIAA Institute

The TIAA Institute helps advance the ways individuals and institutions plan for financial security and organizational effectiveness. The Institute conducts in-depth research, provides access to a network of thought leaders and enables those it serves to anticipate trends, plan future strategies and maximize opportunities for success.  For more information about the TIAA Institute, visit

About TIAA

TIAA ( is the leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical, cultural and government fields. TIAA has $938 billion in assets under management (as of 03/31/2017, and based on assets under management across Nuveen Investments affiliates and TIAA investment management teams) and offers a wide range of financial solutions, including investing, banking, advice and education, and retirement services.

About the Pension Research Council

The Pension Research Council is committed to generating debate on key policy issues affecting pensions and other employee benefits. The Council sponsors interdisciplinary research on private pension and social security programs, as well as related benefit plans in the United States and around the world. It supports scholarly research on global aging, successful retirement, and retirement income security while facilitating access to research and data critical to the investigation of retirement security. Recent working papers and many research volumes are available for free download at

About the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The school has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually; and a powerful alumni network of 92,000 graduates.