TIAA-CREF Institute & Wharton's Pension Research Council Present Innovative Retirement Research to D.C. Policymakers

Senators Portman and Isakson give keynote addresses on the importance of helping Americans better save for retirement
Washington, DC, May 7, 2015 — Two of the nation’s leading authorities in retirement research, the TIAA-CREF Institute and the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, today publicly released several research papers that promote financial well-being and sound retirement planning.
At a forum today, “Today’s Choices, Tomorrow’s Opportunity: Innovations in Retirement Policy and Practice,” Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) gave keynote addresses and research papers were released by thought leaders in academia. Participating in the dialogue about the future of Americans’ retirement savings were leaders from both institutions, including TIAA-CREF president and CEO Roger Ferguson, Senior Managing Director and head of the TIAA-CREF Institute Stephanie Bell-Rose, TIAA-CREF Senior Managing Director and head of Institutional Client Services Teresa Hassara, and Executive Director of the Pension Research Council and Wharton Professor Olivia S. Mitchell.
“This forum was a unique and exciting opportunity to bring the policy making and academic communities together in pursuit of innovative solutions to a complex problem,” said TIAA-CREF Institute’s Bell-Rose. “Amply saving for retirement is a difficult task for anyone, and designing systems that will enable all Americans to do so requires the highest level of critical thinking. The TIAA-CREF Institute is proud of our collaboration with the Pension Research Council.”
“The studies sponsored by our joint relationship bring top-notch researchers to focus in on critical questions about pension plan design, financial literacy, and forward-looking retirement payout models,” said Wharton’s Mitchell. “We are delighted to move the frontier forward with the TIAA-CREF Institute’s support.”
Among the research released at today’s forum:
  • John Beshears, Harvard University, “Save More Later and Particularly After Your Next Birthday: The Effect of Procrastination on Retirement Savings,” which tests whether an option to enroll “later” in retirement plans increases savings by allowing employees to put off, but eventually begin, saving.
  • Gopi Shah Goda, Stanford University, “The Role of Exponential-Growth and Present Bias in Retirement Saving Decisions,” which addresses the effects of lifetime disclosures on retirement contributions.
  • Olivia S. Mitchell, Executive Director of the Pension Research Council of the University of Pennsylvania, “Complexity of Choice and Defined Contribution Plan Design,” which explores how people make choices about retirement plans when the fund investment menu is streamlined.
  • Pierre-Carl Michaud, Université du Québec à Montréal, “Optimal Saving Behavior: Implications for Financial Education and Policy,” which addresses how employers can be actively involved to improve financial literacy and security.
  • Irina Stefanescu, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System presented research exploring how various aspects of a retirement plan’s design can influence plan costs.
Executive summaries of the research papers will be available on the TIAA-CREF Institute's website, Today’s Choices, Tomorrow’s Opportunity: Innovations in Retirement Policy and Practice .

About the TIAA-CREF Institute

The TIAA-CREF Institute helps advance the ways individuals and institutions plan for financial security and organizational effectiveness. The Institute conducts in-depth research, provides access to a network of thought leaders and enables those it serves to anticipate trends, plan future strategies and maximize opportunities for success.


TIAA-CREF ( is a national financial services organization with $866 billion in assets under management (as of 3.31.15) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

About the Pension Research Council

The Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has been committed to generating debate on key policy issues affecting pensions and other employee benefits since 1954. We sponsor interdisciplinary research on the entire range of private pension and social security programs, as well as related benefit plans in the United States and around the world. Visit us on the Web at .
TIAA-CREF Institute is a division of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA), New York, NY.
TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., and Nuveen Securities, LLC, Members FINRA and SIPC, distribute securities products.