Retirement Plan Design

Retirement Plan Design icon
How plan design affects savings and retirement decisions

Retirement plan design influences savings and retirement decisions. The TIAA Institute explores such issues as trends in plan design, the effect simplifying investment choices has on decision-making, plan fee fairness, and others. 

TIAA Institute Reports

Original research produced by the TIAA Institute—both independently and in collaboration with noted scholars—examines topics of interest to the academic, nonprofit and public sectors. The reports combine statistical findings with thoughtful, data-driven observations and conclusions to provide in-depth analyses that are informative and appropriate for both technical and general audiences.

June 2019

Finance theory assumes that investors maximize risk-adjusted returns when choosing portfolios. In reality, some people are also influenced by irrelevant factors, such as cosmetic changes to investment fund names.

October 2018

A retirement plan’s default investment portfolio is optimal for some employees. But for others, the default has some drawbacks.

October 2018

A retirement plan’s default investment portfolio is optimal for some employees. But for others, the default has some drawbacks.

July 2018

Automatic enrollment helps boost retirement plan contributions, but its ultimate impact on plan balances is unclear.

July 2018

Given the complexity – and risks – of choosing between a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan, how do university employees decide?

July 2018

Given the complexity – and risks – of choosing between a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan, how do university employees decide?

February 2018

Procrastination keeps employees at the default contribution rate, but only in “opt-out” plans.

December 2017

Many retirement plan participants lack the financial knowledge needed to manage their portfolios on their own, underscoring the importance of advice.

June 2017

To preserve retirement wealth, IRAs and employer-sponsored defined contribution plans typically impose a penalty on early withdrawals. How might individuals respond if the penalty were lifted?