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Securing a Reliable Income in Retirement

The Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy invites paper submissions for presentation at its annual Policy Innovation Forum, to be held November 1–2, 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.


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 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.


January 2022 – check back for date to be announced (in-person anticipated)

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