Past Webinars

Past Webinars

Closing the Access Gap:
What Can We Expect from SECURE 2.0 and
State-Facilitated Retirement Savings Programs?

A Review of Progress and the 2023 Outlook 

February 9, 2023

At the start of 2023, there are 16 state-facilitated retirement savings programs designed to provide workers who lack access to an employer-sponsored plan with the opportunity to save for retirement. Just three of these state programs — CalSavers, Illinois Secure Choice, and OregonSaves — already have accumulated $640 million in assets. More recently, they have been joined by three additional state auto-IRA programs that are now open to all eligible workers — MyCTSavings, Maryland$aves, and the Colorado SecureSavings Program.

Congress also passed SECURE 2.0 at the end of last year, a second set of retirement reforms that build off the SECURE Act reforms passed in 2019, intended to help encourage and support new retirement plan adoption and worker participation in those plans.

During this one-hour webinar experts shared their observations about how the latest federal reforms could reshape the retirement plan market and expand coverage and participation. In addition, three of the newest state-facilitated retirement savings programs provided updates on their progress to date.


  • Angela Antonelli, Research Professor and Executive Director, Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy


  • Will Hansen, Chief Government Affairs Officer, American Retirement Association
  • Jessica Muirhead, Executive Director, MyCTSavings
  • Chad MullenDirectorFinancial Security, AARP
  • Chad Parks, CEO, Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
  • William (“Hunter”) Railey, Executive Director, Colorado SecureSavings Program
  • Glenn Simmons, Executive Director, Maryland$aves

State-Facilitated Retirement Savings Programs:
How 40,000 Employers Have Helped 400,000 Employees
Save $400 Million for Retirement …
and It’s Just the Beginning

A Review of Progress and the 2022 Outlook

February 17, 2022

New state-facilitated retirement savings programs are making a significant contribution to closing the gap for 57 million private sector workers who have lacked access to employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. In just the past six years, 14 states have adopted programs with the potential to reach almost 20 million of these workers.

The success of these programs is already evident. Even though many of these efforts remain in their early stages of planning and implementation, just three of these states — CalSavers, Illinois Secure Choice, and OregonSaves — have already accumulated $420 million in assets from more than 440,000 savers working for 47,000 different employers, and they are still bringing new employers and savers on board every day.

More of the new state programs are slated to begin working with employers and enrolling new savers in 2022. State leadership continues to drive innovation as states are now also looking to create interstate agreements and partner to launch such programs. Colorado and New Mexico are working on a partnership agreement, and more seem likely to consider this approach to increase retirement savings access affordably and effectively.

During this one-hour webinar several of these state-facilitated retirement savings programs shared their experiences to date, how these new program continue to innovate in their design and implementation, and what the experience has been for both employers and employees.


  • Angela Antonelli, Research Professor and Executive Director, Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy


  • The Honorable Stacy Garrity, Treasurer, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • The Honorable Josh Gotbaum, Chair, MarylandSaves
  • Mary Morris, CEO, Virginia529 and the VA Retirement Savings Program
  • John Scott, Retirement Savings Project Director, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Katie Selenski, Executive Director, CalSavers Retirement Savings Board
  • The Honorable Dave Young, Treasurer, State of Colorado, and Chair, Colorado Secure Savings Program Board

What Do Participants Want and How Are Plan Sponsors and Providers Responding?

September 28, 2021

In this one-hour webinar, a panel of industry experts share their perspectives on key trends shaping the future of defined contribution (DC) plan arrangements.

Industry insights, such as BlackRock’s annual Retirement Pulse Survey, examine what plan participants are saying they want from their retirement plans and employers, as well as how plan sponsors and financial advisors are responding. The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic shock only served to focus a stronger spotlight on the systemic weaknesses of the current retirement system and what needs to be done to address demographic inequality, improve outcomes, and secure the financial future of millions of American workers.

Our panel of experts discussed what such surveys are telling us, and, more importantly, offer their observations about the new forces shaping the future of DC plans, including the importance of financial wellness and resiliency, the demand for access and savings options, tailoring plan design to meet participant preferences, and securing a reliable income in retirement.


  • Angela Antonelli, Research Professor and Executive Director, Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy


  • Kathleen Kelly, Founder and Managing Partner, Compass Financial Partners, A Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company
  • Michael Kreps, Partner, Groom Law Group
  • Matt Soifer, Managing Director, Retirement, BlackRock
  • Tina Wilson, Senior Vice President and Chief Product Officer, Empower Retirement

Private sector workers in the United States continue to struggle to find a cost-effective way of securing a reliable income in retirement. As defined benefit (DB) plans have become less common, many workers now face a costly and complex set of decisions about how to turn the savings in their defined contribution (DC), 401(k) plans into lifetime income.

The US is not alone in facing this challenge. In both the Netherlands, and most recently now in the United Kingdom (UK), collective defined contribution (CDC) plans are being used to provide lifetime income. Recent studies of CDC plan experience in Europe suggest that a CDC plan can be simple and low-cost in design, and generate a retirement income at least 30% higher than a typical DC plan.

How is this possible? What has been the experience, good and bad, in the Netherlands and the UK? What lessons do a CDC plan design hold for the US?

Please join the Georgetown Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) for a one-hour webinar with a panel of global experts, practitioners, and labor representatives to discuss the potential of CDC plan design and the CRI’s related policy report, Securing a Reliable Income in Retirement: An Examination of the Benefits and Challenges of Pooled Funding and Risk-Sharing in Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) Plans.”


  • Angela Antonelli, Research Professor and Executive Director, Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy


  • Charles E.F. Millard, former Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and Senior Advisor, Amundi Asset Management


  • Bradford Campbell, Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, and former Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Alwin Oerlemans, Head of Product Management, APG Asset Management, the Netherlands
  • David Pitt-Watson, Visiting Fellow, Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, United Kingdom
  • Terry Pullinger, Deputy Secretary General (Postal), Communication Workers Union, United Kingdom


What Are the Potential Benefits
of Universal Access to Retirement Savings?

December 15, 2020

Download webinar slide deck.

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.


  • Angela Antonelli, Research Professor and Executive Director, Center for Retirement Initiatives, Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy
  • Ethan Conner-Ross, Senior Vice President and Principal, Econsult Solutions, Inc.

Discussants (moderated by Angela Antonelli):

  • Courtney Eccles, Director, Illinois Secure Choice
  • David John, Senior Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute
  • Melissa Kahn, Managing Director, State Street Global Advisors
  • David Morse, Partner, K&L Gates

The Road to Recovery: Getting Retirement Back on Track

COVID-19 & Income Protection:
The Case for Innovative Lifetime Income Strategies

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.

COVID-19 & Market Volatility:
Using Alternative Assets in DC Plans –
Will DOL’s New Guidance Encourage Greater Adoption?

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.

COVID-19 & Retirement Savings:
The Case for Protecting and Expanding
Access and Participation

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.

COVID-19 & Financial Fragility:
The Case for a More-Holistic Approach to Savings to Protect Retirement

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.