Welcome to the Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) Policy Blog. The objective of this blog is to create an expert policy forum where the Center can share everything from the latest research and resources related to state retirement savings initiatives for private sector workers to federal legislative and regulatory developments. We will also provide updates on the latest retirement security data, best practices and lessons learned from program design and implementation at home and abroad. For those interested in learning more about a particular topic, each post may provide additional reading and resources to allow for a more in-depth exploration of the related research and policy issues.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the views of the authors and do not reflect any policy or position of the Center for Retirement Initiatives.
By Dave Young, Colorado State Treasurer
At least 40 percent of Colorado’s 2.4 million private sector workers do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan, and another 20 percent are either ineligible to participate in their employer’s plan or are self-employed or independent contractors without a plan. This group of more than 1 million uncovered workers is more likely to earn less, experience more job transitions, work fewer hours, and earn less than workers covered by a workplace retirement plan, meaning that they are more likely to be financially vulnerable, not only throughout their working years but also into old age.
By Benjamin Roth, Andrew Green, and Angela Antonelli
Each year, approximately 5 million Americans with small retirement accounts (defined as having balances of less than $5,000) change jobs and are forced by their former employers to take distributions from their retirement savings accounts. This sets off a complicated process that often leaves the individual with less savings set aside for retirement.
By Charles E.F. Millard
In December 2019, the Congress passed and the President signed, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (“SECURE”) Act. This new law can help achieve important goals, such as encouraging lifetime income solutions and allowing the creation of groups of small businesses that can offer 401(k)s together. But this legislation fails to address a simple aspect of fairness, which Congress or the Department of Labor should also address.
By Jason Shapiro
Here are several forward-looking ideas for defaults within the industry’s reach that can facilitate better outcomes by creating a path for current and future innovations. Target-date funds, which have become a popular default investment in defined contribution (DC) retirement plans, are a great tool to help American workers prepare for retirement, but we feel they are not necessarily designed to serve the needs of today’s retirees who are living longer than those in the past.
By Catherine Harvey
In the field of retirement and financial wellness, most people can recite the Federal Reserve’s statistic that 40% of U.S. households would struggle to cover a $400 unexpected expense. The AARP Public Policy Institute went beyond “the $400 problem” in our recent report, Unlocking the Potential of Emergency Savings Accounts, and presented a more-nuanced portrait of the population that lives one surprise away from financial distress.
By Robert Raben
When I started the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative (DAMI) five years ago, it was in direct response to the insufficient use of minority- and women-owned asset management firms by institutional investors. Without an abundance of data to understand why these firms were not participating fully in the management of the largest pools of capital, we were constantly asking ourselves, “Is there just a lack of MWBOs in the field?” “Did it come down to an issue of performance?” “If so, did these firms not have the talent and resources needed to perform as well as or outperform their white counterparts?”
By Laura Kim and Angela Antonelli
While the idea of retiring by age 65 becomes increasingly outdated, how realistic is the expectation that Americans can simply choose to work longer? Older workers face a difficult set of circumstances, with those wishing to remain employed finding it increasingly difficult to land and keep jobs, while many who might prefer to retire must keep working to make ends meet.
By Josh Cohen
“This time is different.” We’ve heard it before. We heard it when technology stocks were skyrocketing in the late ’90s, and then just before the real estate bubble burst a decade ago. The discussion of retirement income in defined contribution (DC) plans has that same feel now.
By Patrick McNamara, Angela M. Antonelli and Laura Kim
After decreasing with the onset of the Great Recession, debt levels are once again rising. At the end of 2018, overall household debt reached an all-time high. A closer examination highlights two significant and troubling trends: student loans represent an increasingly large portion of aggregate debt, and older Americans bear a growing proportion of this burden.
By Ivy Deng, Laura Kim, and Angela Antonelli
How much is enough? That’s the difficult question policymakers and individuals have to answer when it comes to retirement security and determining retirement income adequacy. With today’s defined contribution (DC) plans, all the responsibility has shifted to the worker to make the right savings and investment decisions — decisions that will significantly affect the amount of money available for retirement.
By Angela M. Antonelli
The Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) convened an invitation-only one-day policy forum in June 2018 with approximately 100 senior industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders to examine some of the key challenges in designing a retirement savings system focused on improving long-term outcomes to strengthen retirement security for millions of Americans.
Achieving Economies of Scale in State-Facilitated Retirement Savings Programs: The Case for Multi-State Collaboration
By Angela M. Antonelli, J. Mark Iwry and David C. John
Over the last several years, most states have been actively engaged in exploring ways to enable more private-sector workers to save for retirement. In addition to understanding the need to enhance retirement security by expanding coverage, they recognize that the failure to do this would expose state governments to increased budget pressure, because increasing numbers of retirees with insufficient savings need additional social services.
The Next Generation of NEST Program Reforms in the UK: Anticipating Some Challenges Will Strengthen the Foundation for Continued Success
By Will Sandbrook
By Tobias Read, Oregon State Treasurer
By Paula Campbell Roberts
The Stress Behind the Dykes: Debating the Next Generation of Retirement Policy Reforms in the Netherlands
By Harry H.G. Smorenberg
By Laura Kim and Angela M. Antonelli
A Call to Action in Pennsylvania: The Demographic, Fiscal, and Economic Consequences of Retirement Insecurity Are Hard to Ignore
By Joe Torsella, Pennsylvania State Treasurer
By Angela M. Antonelli
By Han Yik
A Key to Strengthening Retirement Security: Return to Designing Retirement Plans Focused on Lifetime Income Strategies
By Martin Noven and Angela M. Antonelli
By Angela M. Antonelli, Christopher Woika and Laura Kim
By Lisa A. Massena, CFA
With a great deal of local and national engagement and support, Oregon will soon be launching the nation’s first state-sponsored auto-enrollment individual retirement account (IRA) program.