What Are the Potential Benefits
of Universal Access to Retirement Savings?
December 15, 2020
December 15, 2020
The Georgetown Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) hosted a one-hour webinar to share the findings of its new research, “What Are the Potential Benefits of Universal Access to Retirement Savings? An Analysis of National Options to Expand Coverage” prepared in collaboration with Econsult Solutions, Inc. (ESI) and supported by a grant from the Berggruen Institute’s Future of Capitalism program.
Today, an estimated 57 million private sector workers lack access to employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. This research evaluates several options for providing national universal retirement savings access if some or all employers are required to offer either a payroll deduction IRA or 401(k) plan to their workers.
The ability to close the access gap and boost savings will be affected by design features. The type of retirement savings accounts (Roth IRA and/or Roth 401(k) structure), the employers required to participate, and the default levels of employee contributions and any employer contributions over time are all factors that will drive access, savings, asset growth, and retirement income.
During this webinar, the presenters and discussants examined the range of options considered, which offers policymakers a roadmap to create solutions that work for most employers and their employees. Analyses of several payroll deduction IRA and 401(k) scenarios show that the benefits to savers, retirees, and the nation’s fiscal and economic well-being can be significant.
Discussants (moderated by Angela Antonelli):
June 24, 2020
Increasingly, workers expect their retirement plans to help them not only save, but also generate and manage income through retirement. It is no longer sufficient to ask simply, “How much is enough?” when planning for retirement. Instead, the same — or greater — effort must be put into helping workers understand how their savings translate into monthly income and whether this will meet retirement goals and objectives. During this one-hour webinar, we will explore the range of lifetime income solutions, what it is like for plan sponsors to include such solutions, whether the recent SECURE Act has the potential to encourage greater adoption by plan sponsors, and how other countries are addressing the retirement income challenge. View replay or download slides.
June 9, 2020
On June 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an information letter intended to provide clarity about how ERISA fiduciary duties apply to including alternative investments as they do to more-typical investments in defined contribution (DC) plans. The guidance is an effort to make it clear that ERISA does not prohibit alternative investment in DC plans, and therefore a fiduciary could, if it follows a prudent process, decide to allocate a portion of a target date fund (TDF) portfolio to alternative investments. The Georgetown Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) released reports analyzing the strategic use of alternative assets in a TDF structure and how to address various operational challenges, demonstrating that including these asset classes can improve expected retirement income and mitigate loss in downside scenarios. However, many plan fiduciaries have been reluctant to include alternative assets allocations in their TDFs because of a perception that doing so could increase the risk of litigation. The DOL’s guidance is an effort to respond to this concern. During this one-hour webinar, experts and the leaders of several key industry associations will discuss the DOL’s new guidance to provide some much-needed clarity about the use of alternative assets in DC plans. What do we know about the potential for asset diversification to improve returns, smooth volatility, and mitigate downside risks during periods of market stress, such as the recent coronavirus-induced economic volatility? Does the latest guidance help address the key legal and operational challenges that have slowed adoption? Will the DOL’s action increase the likelihood that plan sponsors can take more of an institutional approach to DC investing? View replay or download slides.
May 28, 2020
Even before the current pandemic, millions of workers already did not have access to employer-sponsored retirement savings plans, and now, fewer businesses may provide such plans. The pandemic is also having a negative effect on the level of participation and employer contributions to existing retirement plans. During this one-hour webinar, we will discuss the damage to retirement savings and how the private sector and governments can work together as we emerge from this crisis to provide new options that will cover more Americans and boost retirement savings. View replay or download slides.
May 14, 2020
While the primary focus now must be on overcoming the COVID-19 public health pandemic, there will be important lessons from this crisis that we must act upon. The financial fragility of too many Americans unable to weather even a short period of economic turmoil is painfully obvious. During this one-hour webinar, we will examine the severity of the problem and the need to take advantage of opportunities to help individuals, families, and workers prepare for the future more successfully with tools to improve financial well-being, including expanding access to ways to save for emergencies, retirement, and much more. View replay or download slides.