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!

As part of its annual, invitation-only 2021 Policy Innovation Forum held as a virtual event on November 2–3, 2021, the Georgetown CRI issued a Call for Papers. During the Forum, paper authors joined with experts from around the world as part of panel discussions exploring 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.

The following papers have been selected by the Georgetown Center for Retirement Initiatives to highlight as part of forthcoming proceedings of the Forum. Some of the papers were formally published after the Forum:

Selected papers are eligible to receive an honorarium for the authors’ research contributions.

The CRI is grateful to the Berggruen Institute for its support of the 2021 Forum and this Call for Papers.

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

Research Partner

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AKF Consulting

Gold Sponsor