2021 CRI Annual Policy Innovation Forum:
Securing a Reliable Income in Retirement

The Georgetown Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) hosted an exclusive, invitation-only two-day virtual Policy Innovation Forum featuring U.S. and international thought leaders. The Forum is a premiere gathering where senior industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders discuss the key challenges of designing a retirement system focused on improving long-term outcomes to strengthen retirement security.

Because there is growing interest among both plan participants and plan sponsors in generating and protecting lifetime income, the 2021 Policy Innovation Forum focused on innovative new approaches being considered in the U.S. and other countries. The forum explored: 1) ways to address major risks to retirement income, including longevity, timing, investment, and inflation; and 2) major system designs and delivery reforms, including institutional changes both public and private, to address these major risks and generate income for retirees.

With grant support from the Berggruen Institute, the CRI issued a Call for Papers related to the 2021 forum theme, and we explored this research at the forum.

Confirmed speakers (see Agenda) included:

  • Shlomo Benartzi, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus and Co-founder of the Behavioral Decision Making Group, UCLA Anderson School of Management
  • Ali Khawar, Acting Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Robert Merton, Distinguished Professor of Finance, Sloan School of Management, MIT
  • Bradley Schurman, Founder and CEO, the Super Age

and many more!

The Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy invited paper submissions for presentation at its annual Policy Innovation Forum, to be held November 2-3, 2021, at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., as an in-person event with limited virtual participation.*

The theme for the 2021 Annual Policy Innovation Forum is “Securing a Reliable Income in Retirement.” The CRI is pleased to announce that this year’s call for papers is supported by a grant from the Berggruen Institute.

Overview

The demand is growing for defined contribution (DC) plans to evolve from accumulating retirement savings to generating retirement income. Defined benefit (DB) plans already make this easy for participants, by specifying the benefit a participant would receive in retirement, typically as a monthly lifetime stream of income. Unfortunately, however, DB plans are becoming less common, and workers often now have to rely primarily on DC plans even though those were originally designed to supplement, not replace, DB plans. This shift affects retirement readiness because DC plans focus primarily on wealth accumulation and preservation, and do not offer workers sufficient options to help them manage their income to last a lifetime.

Because there is growing interest in generating and protecting lifetime income, the CRI is interested in identifying innovative new approaches for growing and protecting retirement income. We seek to receive submissions of papers that:

1) Identify ways to address major risks to retirement income, including longevity, timing, investment, and inflation; and
2) Explore major system designs and delivery reforms, including institutional changes both public and private, to address these major risks and generate income for retirees.

Topics for Consideration

The Center for Retirement Initiatives welcomes submissions of papers recently written about aspects of this important topic, including but not limited to:

  • In-plan and out-of-plan annuity options, including hybrid combinations with other financial product options (i.e., managed accounts)
  • Creating new investment products, such as a pension/retirement bond or mutual fund
  • Innovative investment pools (e.g., tontines or collective defined contribution schemes — CDCs)
  • Single vs. multiple asset pools to manage the accumulation of balances vs. the decumulation phase to pay retirement income
  • Alternative use of personal assets (e.g., reverse mortgages) or third-party assets (outside investors) to finance retirement income
  • New or existing public or private institutional mechanisms for reliably managing and delivering retirement income
  • Potential for state or national sovereign entities to assist in financing, supporting, or buffering retirement income options
  • Assessing the tradeoffs to meet income objectives (e.g., flexibility, liquidity, portability, stability of income, longevity, etc.) in plan design and delivery
  • Innovative or improved methods for helping more individuals use retirement income solutions (e.g., defaults or nudges)

These topics are not intended to be exhaustive. We want to encourage the presentation of innovative solutions that are consistent with a focus on the design and delivery of such solutions, including submission of papers from international organizations and authors.

Deadline and Instructions for Submission

Please submit a two- to three-page summary/abstract of an existing research or policy paper along with the full paper, including all of the authors’ names, titles, organization affiliations, emails, and phone numbers, to criretirement@georgetown.edu by Monday, September 20, 2021. The Georgetown CRI anticipates completing its review and decisions for forum presentations by Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Please note in the subject line: “2021 Policy Innovation Forum Call for Papers.” You should receive an email acknowledging receipt of your submission; if you do not, contact Angela Antonelli at ama288@georgetown.edu.

Presentation and Publication

The CRI anticipates accepting approximately eight papers for presentation at the Forum. Authors of accepted papers will be offered a $1,000 honorarium (per paper, not per author for multiple authors) and will be invited to present at the forum, to be held at the McCourt School’s new Capitol Hill offices in downtown Washington, D.C. Support to cover travel costs for accepted submissions also will be considered, as needed, on a case-by-case basis.

Please do not send a submission if you cannot attend the Forum in person or participate virtually.  International authors will not be expected to attend in person, but will be asked to appear virtually.

In addition to hosting presentations at the forum, the CRI also will publish a post-forum report and will publish the paper abstracts and/or the full papers.

By submitting a paper for consideration, the authors give Georgetown CRI permission to publish or reprint the summary/abstract and/or the full paper with proper attribution given to the authors.

Please feel free to share this call for papers with interested parties.

Questions?

Questions may be directed to the Center’s Executive Director, Angela Antonelli, at ama288@georgetown.edu.

*Public Health Considerations

The CRI will continue to monitor COVID-19 public health conditions. This event is currently planned as a primarily in-person event with a virtual option and would follow all the government and university requirements for such public gatherings that are in place at the time of the forum. If circumstances require, we will change to an online event entirely and the new all virtual dates will be November 2-3, 2021. Should this occur, the Georgetown CRI will provide as much notice as possible.

In registering for this meeting, you agree to participate for most, if not all, of your meeting participation time, via both audio and video, and to be fully engaged with the meeting and discussions. You agree not to record any video or audio of the sessions and that the Chatham House Rule will apply.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021
11:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m. ET

Challenges and Innovations Shaping the Future of Retirement Income
in Defined Contribution (DC) Plans

11:00 a.m.–11:10 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Angela Antonelli, Research Professor and Executive Director, Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University

11:10 a.m.–Noon

The Annuitization Puzzle: Is it Possible to Narrow the Disconnect Between Interest and Action?

Presentation by Shlomo Benartzi, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus and Co-founder of the Behavioral Decision Making Group, UCLA Anderson School of Management: How Annuities and Digital Nudging Can Lead to Smarter Decumulation and a Longer Life

Followed by a discussion with

  • Jennifer Doss, Senior Director and Defined Contribution Practice Leader, CapTrust
  • Jason Fichtner, Vice President, Economic Studies, Bipartisan Policy Center and Senior Fellow, Alliance for Lifetime Income
  • Tamiko Toland, Head of Research, CANNEX

Noon–12:50 p.m.

The Promise, Perils, and Prospects for Income Products: What Are the Latest Innovations and How Well Do We Solve for Risks in Design?

Moderator: Josh Cohen, Managing Director, Head of Institutional Defined Contribution, PGIM

  • David O’Meara, Director, Investments, Willis Towers Watson
  • David John, Senior Policy Advisor, AARP, and Deputy Director, Retirement Security Project, Brookings Institution
  • Mathieu Pellerin, Senior Researcher, Dimensional Fund Advisors
  • Sue Walton, Senior Vice President, Capital Group

12:50 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

Break

1:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

Keynote A Regulator’s Perspective: Lifetime Income Issues and Challenges

Introduction: Melissa Kahn, Managing Director, State Street Global Advisors

  • Ali Khawar, Acting Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor

1:30 p.m.–2:20 p.m.

Lessons in Behavior: Should Automatic Savings Tools Lead to Automatic Income Mechanisms? If Not, Why Not

Moderator: Anne Lester, Speaker, Author, Media Commentator, Anne Lester LLC

  • Saurabh Bhargava, Associate Professor of Economics, Carnegie Mellon University
  • David Blanchett, Managing Director and Head of Retirement Research, PGIM DC Solutions
  • Jeremy Cooper, Chairman, Retirement Income, Challenger Limited, Australia
  • Robert Crothers, Managing Director, Product & Strategy, BlackRock
  • Michael Finke, Professor and Frank M. Engle Chair of Economic Security, The American College of Financial Services
  • Nick Nefouse, Managing Director and Head of Global Retirement Solutions, BlackRock

2:20 p.m.–2:30 p.m.  

Closing Comments

Wednesday, November 3, 2021
11:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m. ET

Global Mega-Trends Shaping the Future of Retirement Income

11:00 a.m.–11:10 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Angela Antonelli, Research Professor and Executive Director, Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University

11:10 a.m.–Noon

A Conversation with Nobel Laureate Dr. Robert Merton, Distinguished Professor of Finance, Sloan School of Management, MIT:  An Integrated Approach to the Retirement Funding Challenge

Moderator: Dr. Yakov Feygin, Associate Director, Future of Capitalism, Berggruen Institute

  • Presentation and Discussion with Dr. Robert Merton

Noon–12:50 p.m.

Collective Defined Contribution Plans and Tontines: What Costs and Risks Do They Address that Traditional Annuities Cannot?

Moderator: Catherine Reilly, Director of Retirement Solutions, SMART USA
  • Richard Fullmer, Founder, Nuova Longevità Research
  • Mark Iwry, Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institution
  • Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, Director of Financial Security, National Institute on Ageing (NIA), Ryerson University and Resident Scholar, Eckler Ltd.
  • Harinder Mann, Professor, Ashridge Business School and Co-Chair, Royal Society of Arts CDC Forum, United Kingdom
  • Barbara Sanders, Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University

12:50 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

Break

1:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

Keynote Decoding Demographics

Introduction: Angela Antonelli, Research Professor and Executive Director, Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University

  • Bradley Schurman, Founder and CEO, the Super Age

1:30 p.m.–2:20 p.m.

International Approaches to Retirement Income: What are Key Trends and Lessons for the U.S. Retirement System?

Moderator: Han Yik, Managing Partner, Strategic Focus Investments

  • Keith Ambachtsheer, Founder, KPA Advisory Services, Canada
  • Manuel-Garcia Huitron, Co-founder, Nuovalo Ltd., Chile
  • Josef Pilger, Global Pension & Retirement Leader, Ernst and Young
  • Ayandev Saha, Strategic Adviser, Financial Sector Development Directorate, Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning, Rwanda

2:20 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

Closing Comments

Keith Ambachtsheer
President, KPA Advisory Services

Keith Ambachtsheer has been a participant in the pensions and investments industry since 1969 and is recognized as one of the globe’s most original thinkers on pension design, governance, and investing issues. Since its founding in 1985, KPA Advisory Services has become known as a trusted incubator for new thinking about pensions, and for providing strategic advice to a global clientele in person and through the monthly Ambachtsheer Letter. CEM Benchmarking Inc., co-founded by Keith in 1991, has earned a reputation as the premier benchmarking organization in the global pensions and investments industry.

Keith was named “One of the Most Influential People in Pensions” by Pensions & Investments and has received many other honors and awards over the course of his professional career. He has also played major roles in shaping and reshaping several country retirement income systems, including those of Australia, Canada, Finland, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Recently, aiCIO named him as one of the globe’s “10 Most Influential Academics in Institutional Investing.”

Keith has helped guide the discourse in the field through a variety of academic positions, including as Founding Academic Director, Rotman-ICPM Board Effectiveness Program for Pension and Other Long Horizon Investment Institutions, and as Senior Fellow, National institute on Aging, Ryerson University.

He has personal governance experience as a member of several corporate and not-for-profit boards and has served as Board Chair of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. He is a member of the Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index Advisory Council, Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives Scholars Council, Network for Sustainable Financial Markets, and Tobacco Free Portfolios Global Advisory Council.

Angela M. Antonelli
Research Professor and Executive Director, Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI), Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy

The Honorable Angela Antonelli is a Research Professor and the Executive Director of the Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. She established the CRI in 2014 with a mission to strengthen retirement security, including the adoption of state-facilitated retirement savings programs.

Angela works closely with states and stakeholders interested in addressing the private sector workforce retirement coverage gap and has advised several state task forces. She is relied upon for her insights and opinions about issues related to retirement security and savings, including options for plan design and related legal and regulatory considerations. She appears in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Pensions & Investments, MarketWatch, forbes.com, and many other major news outlets. She also served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Retirement Investment Systems Reform Project.

Before assuming her position at Georgetown University, Angela served in senior positions in the government, consulting, and nonprofit sectors, including the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and as the Assistant Secretary & CFO for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), with responsibilities for a $30 billion budget and implementing a range of economic policies and programs. She has a BA, summa cum laude, from Cornell University and an MPA with honors from Princeton University.

Shlomo Benartzi
Professor Emeritus and Co-Founder, Behavioral Decision Making Group, UCLA Anderson School of Management

Shlomo Benartzi is a behavioral economist interested in combining the insights of psychology and economics to solve big societal problems. He works on creating digital nudges that leverage technology to achieve massive scale and help millions of people and organizations make better financial decisions. He received a PhD from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management and is currently a Professor Emeritus and Co-Founder of the Behavioral Decision-Making Group at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Wharton Behavior Change for Good Initiative.

Shlomo’s work has demonstrated the potential for far-reaching improvement. Along with Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago, he pioneered the Save More Tomorrow™ (SMarT) program, a behavioral prescription designed to nudge employees to increase their savings rates gradually over time. In their original research, they found that SMarT increased employee savings rates from 3.5 percent to 13.6 percent. The SMarT program is now offered by more than half of the large retirement plans in the U.S. and a growing number of plans in Australia and the U.K. The program has also been incorporated into the Pension Protection Act of 2006, enabling approximately 15 million Americans to boost their retirement savings.

To help bridge the gap between academic research and the real world, Shlomo has worked with many financial institutions and served on multiple advisory boards. He is currently a senior academic advisor for the VOYA Behavioral Finance Institute for Innovation, Acorns, Blast, Lili, Personal Capital, and Wisdom Tree.

Saurabh Bhargava
Associate Professor of Economics, Carnegie Mellon University

Saurabh Bhargava is an Associate Professor of Economics at Carnegie Mellon University, an academic affiliate of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT and the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Founder and Co-Director of the BEDR Policy Lab. Saurabh’s primary research area of behavioral economics broadly explores decision-making and optimal policy design in the contexts of health insurance, retirement savings, program take-up, unemployment, medical adherence, and employee reward programs.

His work has been published in journals such as JAMA, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, The American Economic Review, Psychological Science, and NEJM Catalyst as well as Harvard Business Review and Wall Street Journal. He has received coverage from media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Vox, Bloomberg, BBC News, CNBC, Barron’s, NPR, and Politico. He has also published in the .

Saurabh has been a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation and an adjunct faculty member at the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago. Before starting his academic career, he worked at Mckinsey & Co. He holds an AB degree from Harvard University and a PhD in Economics from UC Berkeley.

David Blanchett
Managing Director and Head of Retirement Research, PGIM DC Solutions

David Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP®, is Managing Director and Head of Retirement Research for PGIM DC Solutions, the global investment management business of Prudential Financial, Inc. In this role, he develops research and innovative solutions to help improve retirement outcomes for investors. Before joining PGIM, he was the Head of Retirement Research for Morningstar Investment Management LLC and before that, Director of Consulting and Investment Research for the Retirement Plan Consulting Group at the Unified Trust Company.

David has published more than 100 papers in a variety of industry and academic journals. His research has received awards from the Academy of Financial Services (2017), CFP Board (2017), Financial Analysts Journal (2015), Financial Planning Association (2020), International Centre for Pension Management (2020), Journal of Financial Planning (2007, 2014, 2015, and 2019), and Retirement Management Journal (2012). He is a regular contributor to Advisor Perspectives, ThinkAdvisor, and the Wall Street Journal.

He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Wealth Management at the American College of Financial Services and a Research Fellow with the Alliance for Lifetime Income. He was formerly a member of the Executive Committee for the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) and the ERISA Advisory Council (2018–2020).

In 2021, ThinkAdvisor included David in the IA25 for “pushing the industry forward.” In 2014, InvestmentNews included him in their inaugural 40 under 40 list as a “visionary” in the financial planning industry, and in 2014, Money magazine named him one of the brightest minds in retirement planning.

David holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Kentucky, master’s degree in financial services from the American College of Financial Services, master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a doctorate in personal financial planning program from Texas Tech University.

David Blanchett
Managing Director and Head of Retirement Research, PGIM DC Solutions

David Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP®, is Managing Director and Head of Retirement Research for PGIM DC Solutions, the global investment management business of Prudential Financial, Inc. In this role, he develops research and innovative solutions to help improve retirement outcomes for investors. Before joining PGIM, he was the Head of Retirement Research for Morningstar Investment Management LLC and before that, Director of Consulting and Investment Research for the Retirement Plan Consulting Group at the Unified Trust Company.

David has published more than 100 papers in a variety of industry and academic journals. His research has received awards from the Academy of Financial Services (2017), CFP Board (2017), Financial Analysts Journal (2015), Financial Planning Association (2020), International Centre for Pension Management (2020), Journal of Financial Planning (2007, 2014, 2015, and 2019), and Retirement Management Journal (2012). He is a regular contributor to Advisor Perspectives, ThinkAdvisor, and the Wall Street Journal.

He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Wealth Management at the American College of Financial Services and a Research Fellow with the Alliance for Lifetime Income. He was formerly a member of the Executive Committee for the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) and the ERISA Advisory Council (2018–2020).

In 2021, ThinkAdvisor included David in the IA25 for “pushing the industry forward.” In 2014, InvestmentNews included him in their inaugural 40 under 40 list as a “visionary” in the financial planning industry, and in 2014, Money magazine named him one of the brightest minds in retirement planning.

David holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Kentucky, master’s degree in financial services from the American College of Financial Services, master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a doctorate in personal financial planning program from Texas Tech University.

Josh Cohen
Managing Director, Head of Defined Contribution, Institutional Relationship Group

Joshua R. Cohen, CFA is a Managing Director for PGIM’s Institutional Relationship Group (IRG). Josh provides expert counsel and thought leadership to large defined contribution (DC) plans on investment issues ranging from plan design to Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIA), implications of regulatory change, and implementation. Josh works on developing innovative solutions and thought leadership to help plan participants accumulate the wealth needed for their retirement.

Before joining PGIM, Josh was the Head of Defined Contribution for Russell Investments, where he was responsible for the leadership, strategic direction, and growth of the company’s U.S. Defined Contribution (DC) asset management business across the institutional and intermediary channels. Before his 12 years at Russell Investments, Josh spent nine years at Hewitt Associates.

Highly regarded throughout the industry and a recognized DC thought leader, Josh served a three-year term (2013–2015) as a member of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Advisory Council on policies and regulations affecting employee benefit plans governed by ERISA. Josh is also actively involved with several industry organizations, including the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA), serving as an Executive Committee Member and former Chair of the Retirement Research Board, and the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), serving as a Member of the Board of Trustees and Research Chair.

Josh was identified in 2016 by Chief Investment Officer (CIO) magazine as one of the world’s most influential investment thought leaders by being named to its annual Knowledge Brokers list. This marked the fourth consecutive year Josh has received this recognition.

Josh earned his BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Chicago, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Jeremy Cooper
Chairman, Retirement Income, Challenger Limited

Jeremy Cooper is Chair of Retirement Income at Challenger Limited, an Australian investment management firm specializing in providing Australians with financial security for a better retirement. Challenger is Australia’s leading issuer of annuities.

Before joining Challenger, Jeremy was appointed by the Australian Government in 2009 to chair a review of Australia’s pension system, known as the Cooper Review. The recommendations of the review were published in July 2010 and have been substantially adopted.

A key recommendation was the establishment of a regime for the efficient governance of the default pension market in Australia known as MySuper. As of June 30, 2021, A$903 billion (around US$665 billion) was invested in MySuper products, representing over 27% of the entire pension system.

Jeremy was Deputy Chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Australia’s equivalent of the U.S. SEC) from mid-2004 to mid-2009.

Before his term at ASIC, Jeremy was a partner in an Australian law firm, now Ashurst, where he practiced principally in mergers and acquisitions and corporate advice for nearly 20 years.

Jeremy’s area of expertise is the many challenges facing retirement income systems, and he is a regular media commentator and writer on this subject.

Rob Crothers
Managing Director, Retirement Group, BlackRock

As Managing Director, Robert W. Crothers leads the Product & Strategy team in BlackRock’s Retirement Group, which is responsible for developing and driving business strategy for the Retirement Group along with innovation, commercialization, sales strategy, product management and client implementation for BlackRock’s retirement products. In this role, Robert also holds the title of Head of Product for the Retirement Group. He is a member of the Retirement Group Executive Committee, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company Management Committee, and Americas Product Development Committee.

Robert has spent his career leading product innovation, range management, and implementation and commercialization strategy in global client channels and various asset classes. Past roles include leading Equity product strategy and execution globally throughout the firm’s Institutional Client Business (ICB) and holding primary oversight for BlackRock’s closed-end fund range within the firm’s U.S. Wealth Advisory business.

Robert’s service with the firm dates back to 2004, including his years with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), which merged with BlackRock in 2006. He holds a BA in English and a BA in Communication Arts & Sciences from Pennsylvania State University.

Jennifer Doss
Senior Director and Defined Contribution Practice Leader, CAPTRUST

Jennifer Doss joined CAPTRUST in 2007 and is currently a Senior Director of the firm’s Defined Contribution practice, responsible for the development of defined contribution services to address the needs of CAPTRUST’s clients. Before joining the firm, Jennifer worked as a financial advisor at Ameriprise. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with a concentration in Finance from North Carolina State University and holds the Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS) and Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) designations.

Yakov Feygin
Associate Director, Future of Capitalism, Berggruen Institute

Yakov Feygin is Associate Director of the Future of Capitalism Program at the Berggruen Institute. He holds a PhD in Economic History from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jason Fichtner
Vice President, Economic Studies, Bipartisan Policy Center, and Senior Fellow, Alliance for Lifetime Income

Jason J. Fichtner is Vice President & Chief Economist at the Bipartisan Policy Center. He is also a Senior Fellow with the Alliance for Lifetime Income and the Retirement Income Institute, as well as a Research Fellow with the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin. His research focuses on Social Security, federal tax policy, federal budget policy, retirement security, and policy proposals to increase saving and investment. Fichtner is also on the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), where he serves as Treasurer.

Previously, Jason was a Senior Lecturer of International Economics and an Associate Director of the International Economics and Finance (MIEF) program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he taught courses in public finance, behavioral economics, and cost-benefit analysis.

Before joining SAIS, Jason was a Senior Research Fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He also served in several positions at the Social Security Administration, including Deputy Commissioner of Social Security (acting), Chief Economist, and Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy. Jason also has served as a Senior Economist with the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, an Economist with the Internal Revenue Service, and a Senior Consultant with the Office of Federal Tax Services at Arthur Andersen, LLP.

His work has been featured in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Investor’s Business Daily, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and USA Today, as well as on PBS, NBC, and NPR broadcasts.

Jason earned his BA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; MPP from Georgetown University; and PhD in Public Administration and Policy from Virginia Tech.

Michael Finke
Professor and Frank M. Engle Chair of Economic Security, American College of Financial Services

Michael Finke is a Professor of Wealth Management and the Frank M. Engle Distinguished Chair in Economic Security Research at the American College of Financial Services. He received a doctorate in consumer Economics from the Ohio State University in 1998 and in Finance from the University of Missouri in 2011.

Michael led the Retirement Planning and Living Consortium at Texas Tech University before moving to the American College, and is a nationally known researcher in the areas of retirement income planning, retirement spending, life satisfaction, and cognitive aging. He is a frequent speaker at financial planning conferences and was named one of the 25 most influential people in the field of investment advising in 2020 and 2021 by Investment Advisor magazine.

Richard Fullmer
Founder, Nuova Longevità Research

Richard K. Fullmer, CFA, is the Founder of Nuova Longevità Research, a global pension research and consultancy firm principally located in Maryland. He has more than 25 years of investment experience. Before his current role, he held senior portfolio strategy roles at T. Rowe Price and at Russell Investments, where he specialized in retirement plans, endowments and foundations, and other asset allocation and liability-driven investment problems.

Richard has written extensively about topics pertaining to longevity and sustainability risk, tontine finance and mortality-pooled investment design, portfolio strategy, spending strategy, and insurance strategy. His publications include Tontines: A Practitioner’s Guide to Mortality-Pooled Investments (CFA Institute Research Foundation Briefs, July 2019); “Individual Tontine Accounts,” Journal of Accounting and Finance (19(8),  Dec. 2019); “A Framework for Portfolio Decumulation,” Journal of Investment Consulting (10(1), Summer 2009); and “Defaulting Retirement Distributions Out of Defined-Contribution Plans,” Journal of Retirement (3(3), Winter 2016).

Richard is a recipient of the Edward D. Baker III Journal Research Award from the Investments and Wealth Institute and a Member of the Advisory Board of the Journal of Retirement. He has served as a Senior Partner to the Wharton Pension Research Council at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a MSc degree from Boston University in 2006.

Manuel-Garcia Huitron
Co-Founder, Nuovalo Ltd.

Manuel has more than 20 years of experience in pensions. He is a Co-Founder of the global PensionTech startup “Nuovalo: modern longevity risk sharing architecture and technology.” Previously, he held a research faculty position at Yale School of Management and worked at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), International Finance Corporation, and World Bank.

Manuel was Chief Strategist at Afore XXI-Banorte in Mexico and Senior Policy Advisor at APG in the Netherlands. From 2017 to 2020, he was a Technical Pensions Advisor of the IDB’s Pensions in Latin America and the Caribbean Network, a platform comprising pension regulators across Latin America.

Manuel is an economist with degrees from ITAM, Yale University, and the University of Tilburg. His publications have influenced governance and regulatory reforms toward better industrial organizations and goals-oriented life-cycle investing in second pillars. He has advised governments in Latin America and Europe on pension reforms, and has published about the future of work and pensions, ESG investing, and innovative decumulation products such as modern tontines. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of the World Pension Summit (the Netherlands), Aging Finance platform (Singapore), and Mercer-CFA Global Pensions Index (Australia).

J. Mark Iwry
Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institution

J. Mark Iwry, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Visiting Scholar at the Wharton School, served in the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury and as Treasury’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Retirement and Health Policy.

Mark has been the author, co-author, or driver of numerous retirement policy initiatives and reforms, including 401(k) automatic enrollment, the Saver’s Credit, the nationwide automatic IRA proposal (with David John), state-based auto IRA programs, the SIMPLE-IRA, QLAC longevity annuity, “myRA,” automatic rollovers to IRAs, and the new plan startup tax credit. He has received awards from a wide range of organizations for leadership, innovation, and major contributions to retirement security and to the nation’s pension, healthcare, and tax systems.

Various publications have recognized Mark as one of the nation’s most influential individuals in finance, pensions, saving, and aging. He has been named as one of the world’s “30 top financial players”; one of 20 individuals expected to have a major influence on the financial services industry; number 3 nationally among the “100 most influential people in 401(k).”

Mark graduated from Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, which recently honored him with its annual alumni achievement award.

David C. John
Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute, and Deputy Director, Retirement Security Project, Brookings Institution

David C. John is a Senior Strategic Policy Advisor at the AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI), AARP’s internal think tank, where he focuses on pension and retirement savings issues. He also serves as Deputy Director of the Retirement Security Project (RSP) at the Brookings Institution, which focuses on improving retirement savings in the United States, especially among moderate- and low-income workers.

Before joining AARP, David was a Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation for more than 14 years.

David has written and lectured extensively about reforming the nation’s retirement programs. He is a co-author of a proposal to include trial annuities as a default withdrawal choice in 401(k)-type plans and, with J. Mark Iwry, co-author of the Automatic IRA, a small business retirement savings program for firms that do not sponsor any other form of retirement savings or pension plan and that is a model for plans now being implemented by several states.

David is also the co-author of a study of national retirement savings plans in the United Kingdom and other countries, along with a number of other papers, including how to structure state-sponsored plans for small businesses and rainy day emergency savings accounts.

Melissa Kahn
Managing Director for Retirement Policy, State Street Global Advisors

Melissa Kahn is the Managing Director for Retirement Policy for the Defined Contribution (DC) Team at State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), where she leads the DC team in developing and communicating the team’s public policy positions in relation to the retirement market, and is responsible for cultivating relationships with key retirement policy decision-makers.

Melissa is based in Washington, D.C., and Boston, and works closely with State Street’s Regulatory, Industry, and Government Affairs (RIGA) Group, which is responsible for coordination of overall State Street public policy positioning and advocacy.

Melissa is an attorney with extensive experience in developing and implementing policy and strategies on domestic and international employee benefits legislation and regulation, as well as Social Security reform, and has worked on retirement income policy for many years.

Before joining SSGA, she was a consultant providing strategic planning, policy analysis, and advocacy on issues including retirement, long-term care, Social Security, and global employee benefits to financial institutions and large plan sponsor clients in the USA.

Melissa has worked at MetLife in the company’s Washington, D.C., government relations office and for the Retirement Strategies Group, American Council of Life Insurance, and Equitable Life Assurance Society of America.

Ali Khawar
Acting Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor

Ali Khawar was named Acting Assistant Secretary of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor on March 25, 2021, and sworn in on January 20, 2021, as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for EBSA. He has extensive government experience, and has previously served in a variety of roles in the Department, including as an EBSA Investigator, in EBSA’s Office of Enforcement, as EBSA’s Chief of Staff in two administrations, and as a Counselor to the 26th Secretary of Labor (Thomas E. Perez).

Ali has a bachelor’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from Emory University School of Law.

Anne Lester
Speaker, Author, Commentator, Anne Lester LLC

Anne Lester, retired in 2020 after serving as Portfolio Manager and Head of Retirement Solutions for JPMorgan Asset Management’s Solutions Group. She is on a mission to help Americans, particularly those in their 20s and 30s, understand that it is possible to achieve a happy retirement on their time and target. She continues to be a regular commentator on an array of retirement issues for consumers, industry, and public policy through traditional media outlets and social media.

Anne is working on a book that will help younger savers understand how to overcome their behavioral biases and set out on the path to long-term savings success.

While at JPMorgan, Anne advanced the firm’s market-leading retirement investment product offerings and thought leadership agenda, developing investment products integrating anonymized data and insights from behavioral economics. Under her leadership, JPMorgan partnered with AARP and the Aspen Institute to found the Aspen Leadership Forum on Retirement Savings, bringing together industry, advocacy, academic, and government leaders to converge on ideas and innovations that will help build a private savings system in the U.S. that delivers retirement security for all.

Anne, who joined J.P. Morgan in 1992, worked as a Fixed Income and Currency Trader and Portfolio Manager in the Milan office before moving to the Solutions Group in 2000. She spent more than a decade managing Public, Private, and Multi-Employer Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution plan assets before focusing exclusively on Defined Contribution research, product development, and management.

Before beginning her career with J.P. Morgan, Anne spent a year in Tokyo as a Fulbright Scholar, working for a member of the Japanese Parliament. Previously, she worked as a Staff Assistant for the U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee (John Glenn, Chair). She earned an MA in International Economics and Japan Studies from the Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies and a BA in Politics from Princeton University.

Anne holds three patents for the development of innovative financial services products and analytics. She is a frequent contributor at industry, academic, and public policy conferences in the U.S. and abroad and is a contributor to Bloomberg TV, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and industry publications. She is a Non-Executive Director Smart USA and volunteers on the board of Trenton Music Makers, an El Sistema-inspired after-school program in Trenton, NJ.

Bonnie-Jean MacDonald
Director of Financial Security, National Institute on Aging, Ryerson University, and Resident Scholar, Eckler Ltd.

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald is the Director of Financial Security Research at the National Institute on Ageing (NIA) at Ryerson University (Toronto). She is also a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, and the Resident Scholar at Eckler Ltd.

Bonnie-Jeanne’s research focuses on the financial and health aspects of Canada’s aging population. Bringing together leading industry experts and building on academic best practices coupled with innovative ideas, she aims to improve retirement financial security for Canadians through practical insights, industry innovations, and government solutions.

Bonnie-Jeanne has published numerous academic papers on a wide variety of topics relating to retirement financial security for Canadians. Her research contributions have received numerous awards and have been adopted by industry and government, in Canada, and around the world. She is a prolific keynote speaker at industry and public policy engagements, and a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail.

A recipient of the 2001 Gold Medal in Actuarial Science at the University of Western Ontario, Bonnie-Jeanne received her FSA in 2004 and FCIA in 2019, and also holds a PhD in Actuarial Mathematics from Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University. In 2011, she was chosen as one of Canada’s top young economists and attended the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany.

Harinder Mann
Professor, Ashridge Business School, and Co-Chair, Royal Society of Arts CDC Forum

Harinder (“Hari”) Mann is Co-Chair of the Royal Society of Arts CDC forum in the UK. For more than 11 years, he has worked alongside David Pitt-Watson at the RSA to build support for the introduction of CDC schemes in the UK and on projects aimed at improving the overall pensions landscape in the UK.

Harinder is a Professor of Strategy and Innovation at Ashridge and before that, he was at the London School of Economics. His career before academia was in investment banking and as a political advisor.

Robert Merton
Nobel Laureate, Economics, and Distinguished Professor of Finance, Sloan School of Management, MIT

Robert C. Merton is the School of Management Distinguished Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the John and Natty McArthur University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. He was the George Fisher Baker Professor of Business Administration (1988–1998) and the John and Natty McArthur University Professor (1998–2010) at Harvard Business School. After receiving a PhD in Economics from MIT in 1970, Merton served on the finance faculty of MIT’s Sloan School of Management until 1988 as the J.C. Penney Professor of Management. He is currently Resident Scientist at Dimensional Fund Advisors, where he is the creator of the Target Retirement Solution, a global integrated retirement-funding solution system.

Robert received the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1997 for a new method to determine the value of derivatives. He is a past president of the American Finance Association, member of the National Academy of Sciences, and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He has also been recognized for translating finance science into practice. He received the inaugural Financial Engineer of the Year Award from the International Association for Quantitative Finance (formerly the International Association of Financial Engineers), which also elected him a Senior Fellow.

Robert received the 2011 CME Group Melamed-Arditti Innovation Award and the 2013 WFE Award for Excellence from the World Federation of Exchanges. A Distinguished Fellow of the Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance (Q Group) and a Fellow of the Financial Management Association, he received the Nicholas Molodovsky Award from the CFA Institute.

Robert is a member of the Halls of Fame of the Fixed Income Analyst Society and Risk and Derivative Strategy magazines. He received Risk’s Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the field of risk management; the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Financial Intermediation Research Society; and the 2017 Finance Diamond Prize from Fundación de Investigación (IMEF).

Robert’s research focuses on finance theory, including lifecycle and retirement finance, optimal portfolio selection, capital asset pricing, pricing of derivative securities, credit risk, loan guarantees, financial innovation, the dynamics of institutional change, and improving the methods of measuring and managing macro-financial risk.

Robert received a BS in Engineering Mathematics from Columbia University, a MS in Applied Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, and a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and holds honorary degrees from 19 universities.

David O’Meara
Director, Investments, Willis Towers Watson

David O’Meara is a Director of Investments in Willis Towers Watson’s New York office who has 20 years of investments and consulting experience. He leads Willis Towers Watson’s development of defined contribution investment solutions and oversees defined contribution investment research and thought leadership. He also assists institutional investors with asset/liability management, asset allocation, manager structure, investment manager research and selection, and ongoing manager due diligence.

David began his career as an actuary, with responsibilities that included pension and post-retirement benefit plan valuations under ERISA and GAAP and plan design cost and benefit analysis.

David received a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan. He is an associate of the Society of Actuaries and CFA charterholder.

Nick Nefouse
Managing Director, Global Head of Retirement Solutions, BlackRock

Nick Nefouse, CFA, Managing Director, is the Global Head of Retirement Solutions in BlackRock’s Multi-Asset Strategies & Solutions (MASS) team and Head of LifePath, BlackRock’s global target date fund franchise. The Retirement Solutions team is responsible for research, development and commercialization of BlackRock’s lifecycle and decumulation investment strategies. Mr. Nefouse is a member of the MASS Executive Committee and the Retirement Group Executive Committee.

Mr. Nefouse has spent his career in product innovation and investment strategy roles across multi-asset, fixed income, and equities. Most recently, he was the Head of Investment Strategy for the Retirement Group where he oversaw the growth of the LifePath franchise, including the development of LifePath Paycheck and LifePath ESG, as well as the extension into new markets in Asia and Latin America. Previously, he led product development for the active strategies platform overseeing the launch of liquid alternatives, led strategy for BlackRock’s Emerging Markets and Global Equities teams where he developed a series of equity dividend strategies. He has been with the firm since 2003 in Princeton, New York, and London, including his years with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, which merged with BlackRock in 2006.

Mr. Nefouse earned a degree in Economics from Michigan State University. He is a board member of both the Financial Markets Institute and Economics Advisory Board at Michigan State University. He is a CFA charterholder.

Matthieu Pellerin
Senior Researcher, Dimensional Fund Advisors

Mathieu Pellerin is a Senior Researcher in Dimensional’s Charlotte office. He conducts research on a broad range of investment topics, with a focus on retirement and ESG-related matters.

Mathieu earned a PhD in Economics from Brown University, where he specialized in Econometrics and Survey Statistics. Before his time at Brown, he earned an MA in Economics and a BSc in Actuarial Science from Laval University in Quebec City.

Josef Pilger
Global Pension and Retirement Leader, Ernst and Young

Josef is an EY US Global Pension and Retirement Leader in McLean, Virginia, and leads Ernst and Young’s public and private sector pension and transition retirement business, working across the firm’s Government & Public Sector and Financial Services practices. He has more than 25 years’ strategic and operational experience in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and South and North America.

Josef has worked in several strategic and operational industry and advisory roles, serving governments and leading organizations in the pension and retirement, life insurance, asset management, wealth management, industry.

Before joining EY, Josef was a fiduciary, European Head of Pensions of a European bank, and a Member of the Executive Board of Management and Chief Operations Officer of a bank-owned multi-employer master trust pension fund in Europe.

Catherine Reilly
Director of Retirement Solutions, Smart USA

Catherine Reilly has more than 20 years’ experience in working in the asset management and retirement industry in Europe and North America, in roles that cover economic and investment research, product design, and business strategy.

Most recently, Catherine was Global Head of Research for the Defined Contribution (DC) Team at State Street, where she was responsible for thought leadership and strategic development. In this role, she oversaw the $70 billion SSGA target date suite, designed custom retirement saving solutions for domestic and global clients, and published thought leadership about retirement, investment, and public policy-related topics. She also led strategic initiatives that evaluated the impact of multiple employer plans (MEPs), alternative investments, and robo-advice on the DC business.

Before this, Catherine was Chief Economist of Pohjola Asset Management ($40 billion Aum) in Finland and a Management Consultant in McKinsey & Co., Inc.’s Helsinki office.

Catherine is a CFA charterholder. She has degrees in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and in Economics from Aalto University in Finland. She has also studied business at ESADE in Spain.

Ayandev Saha
Strategic Adviser, Financial Sector Development Directorate, Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning, Rwanda

Ayandev Saha is working with the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning of the Government of Rwanda as a Strategic Adviser – Financial Sector Development Directorate. In this capacity, he oversees all financial sector, implementation of policies, strategies, and other reforms required to deepen, widen, strengthen the financial sector to support real economy sectors to achieve desired economic growth and enhanced well-being of Rwandans.

Ayandev has more than a decade of design and implementation experience in pension, life, health, and agriculture insurance scheme(s) across the Afro-Asia region. He has led several World Bank, ADB, and donor-funded projects and advised governments, regulators, associations, and insurers on social security schemes, regulations, and strategies for building mass markets.

Ayandev has worked extensively in product development, relationship management, and facilitating tie-ups with partners and donors to provide insurance and pension solutions to low-income households.

Barbara Sanders
Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University

Barbara Sanders, FSA, FCIA, is an Actuarial Educator and Researcher. After spending eight years in pension consulting, she joined Simon Fraser University, where she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science. Her research is heavily influenced by her background in industry, exploring emerging issues in pension practice through both qualitative and quantitative lenses. Her current interests include sustainability in occupational pension plans and the effective design, management, and regulation of risk sharing in these arrangements.

Barbara is actively involved in public policy discussions about pensions: She chaired the Canadian Institute of Actuaries’ Task Force on Target Benefit Plans, is an Associate Fellow of the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University, and is a member of the C.D. Howe Institute’s Pension Policy Council.

Barbara holds a BSc in Mathematics and an MSc in Actuarial Science, and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Bradley Schurman
Founder and CEO, The Super Age

Bradley Schurman is a demographic futurist and opinion maker on all things dealing with the business of longevity. He is the author of the forthcoming book from HarperCollins, The Super Age: Decoding Our Demographic Destiny, and the groundbreaking AARP Aging Readiness and Competitiveness Report.

Bradley is a social connector who has built his reputation by helping leading organizations harness the opportunities of an increasingly older and generationally diverse world. He explains how shifting demographics and the collision of the megatrends of decreased birthrates and increased longevity are remaking social and economic norms in the United States and around the world.

Bradley has been featured on the Today Show, Cheddar, and in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and USA Today, as well as local and national media outlets. He speaks regularly at thought leader forums and has advised national governments and major businesses about their longevity strategies.

Tamiko Toland
Head of Annuity Research, CANNEX

Tamiko Toland is Head of Annuity Research for Toronto-based CANNEX, which has long been known as a leading provider of income annuity pricing and now serves the entire scope of annuity products, including the evaluation of annuities with income guarantees. Her focus is the individual and institutional U.S. annuity market. She is a thought leader with more than 15 years of experience in tracking trends and key issues on retirement income, synthesizing commentary and analysis for broad audiences and specific clients. She is known for her dynamic presentations that provide a unique perspective on the industry and the forces that are shaping it.

Sue Walton
Senior Vice President, Capital Group

Sue Walton is a Senior Retirement Strategist at Capital Group, home of American Funds. She has 23 years of industry experience and has been with the Capital Group for five years.

Before joining Capital, Sue was a Director at Towers Watson Investment Services. Before that, she was an Investment Consultant at Mercer Investment Consulting and Ellwood Associates. She holds an MBA from DePaul University with a concentration in Finance and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Economics, and International Business from Marquette University.

Han Yik
Managing Partner, Strategic Focus Investments

Han Yik is Managing Partner of Strategic Focus Investments and a sustainability-minded investor and future-oriented thought leader on global long-term investment strategy. He advises various organizations (including asset managers and think tanks) about issues ranging from ESG, capital markets, geopolitics and blockchain/digital assets.

Han was formerly the Head of Institutional Investors at the World Economic Forum, where he worked with the senior leadership of the world’s largest asset owners (sovereign wealth funds and government pension funds) and with top government officials from across the globe on issues of long-term investing, as well as providing strategic guidance on initiatives involving public-private cooperation.

Han has written articles and reports about various investment topics and led the Forum’s initiative on Global Retirement Investment Systems Reform, addressing the challenges of the global pension crisis and receiving extensive press coverage from media outlets such as Bloomberg, The Financial Times, Barron’s, and others.

Han has been a keynote speaker at various global conferences, including the CIE Chairs & CEOs Symposium in Sydney, Singapore Fintech Festival, Global Asset Owner Series of the CFA Society of New York, Asia Risk Congress, Salesforce World Tour, and CROSAPF. He has led roundtables for asset owners and investors during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Previously, Han was a Senior Institutional Portfolio Strategist and Head of Institutional Thought Leadership at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML). Between 2008 and 2015, he managed $2.5 billion in multi-asset class portfolios where he consistently outperformed the benchmark.

As a quantitative risk expert, Han developed customized liability-driven investment strategies for his clients and produced white papers for BAML’s institutional client base.

Han earned his BS in Applied Mathematics with a concentration in Operations Research from Yale University, where he won the Benjamin F. Barge Prize for Excellence in Mathematics. He has served as a Board Member for Materials for the Arts, a local nonprofit devoted to creative recycling and reuse of donated materials as arts materials for underserved public schools.

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