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. 


December 2013

Most state and local government employees are covered by health plans that extend coverage to retired employees. Relatively few studies have examined how public employees respond to these incentives.

August 2013

Retirement plans commonly “nudge” individuals into plan participation and a default investment option (typically, a target date retirement fund) if they do not make an affirmative choice.

May 2013

Addressing the dynamics of public sector pension reform was the subject of the forum, Public Sector Pension Reform: Addressing Pressing Fiscal Realities from a Long-Term Perspective, sponsored by the TIAA Institute and SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Research Reports

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?

June 2017

Many defined contribution plans pay benefits as a lump sum, putting retirees’ lifetime income security at risk. Longevity income annuities address this concern.