TIAA Institute and Pension Research Council release new behavioral finance research focused on improving retirement outcomes

NEW YORK - June 19, 2019 – The TIAA Institute and the Pension Research Council (PRC) of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School today released new research that provides insights and solutions to better retirement outcomes.
This new research, released at the TIAA Institute Fellows Symposium, focused on how behavioral factors influence financial decisions, particularly regarding the implications these factors have on an individuals’ ability to save for retirement, manage their investment options, and maintain financial well-being.
“With thousands of people reaching retirement age every day, it has never been more important to understand how one’s psychology, biases, and behaviors affect financial security and retirement options,” said Stephanie Bell-Rose, Head of the TIAA Institute. “These studies, and today’s discussion, not only provide essential information to expand our understanding; they also provide evidence-backed ways to strengthen American’s retirement plans utilizing behavioral biases.”
“Helping Americans save for retirement continues to be an opportunity,” said Olivia S. Mitchell, Director of Wharton’s Pension Research Council. “Research like this provides critical insight to help guide older persons find the path toward financial security in retirement.”
The following research was released during today’s Symposium:
  • Decision Making under Uncertainty: An Experimental Study in Market Settings, Federico Echenique (California Institute of Technology)
  • Debt Close to Retirement and Its Implications for Retirement Well-being, Annamaria Lusardi (The George Washington University, TIAA Institute Fellow)
  • White-labels, Brands and Trust: How Mutual Fund Labels Affect Retirement Portfolios, Julie Agnew (William & Mary, TIAA Institute Fellow)
  • The Effect of Default Target Date Funds on Retirement Savings Allocation, Robert McDonald (Northwestern University) and Thomas Rietz (University of Iowa, TIAA Fellow)
  • The Effect of Government Pensions on Financial Well-Being, Bill Skimmyhorn (William & Mary)
To view the reports from the symposium in full, please click HERE.
About the TIAA Institute
The TIAA 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. For more information about the TIAA Institute, visit and follow us on Twitter @TIAAInstitute.
About the Pension Research Council
For 65 years, the Pension Research Council/Boettner Center at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has sponsored research on the entire range of private pension and Social Security programs, as well as related benefit plans in the U.S. and worldwide. Learn more at
About TIAA
With an award-winning1 track record for consistent investment performance, TIAA ( is the leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical, cultural and government fields. TIAA has $1 trillion in assets under management (as of 3/31/20192) and offers a wide range of financial solutions, including investing, banking, advice and education, and retirement services.

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