This timeline provides a brief history of workplace retirement benefits to inform our collective understanding of the needs of employers, plan sponsors, and participants. Highlights include key points in time in public policy, employer benefits, Social Security, and TIAA.
Employment based plans + public policy
- Private employers and public regulations have created a complex, overlapping system of benefits over the last 100 years.
- The generosity, coverage, and tax treatment of benefits has increased, but at the cost of growing complexity and a large administrative burden.
- The accelerated pace of change in the last few decades has made options increasingly complex.
- Social Security grew from a retirement program designed primarily for manufacturing employees to a nearly universal lifetime benefit that also covers widows, survivors, and those with qualifying disabling conditions.
- While it provides a substantial amount of retirement income, it is also approaching a financing crisis decades in the making.
- TIAA has been at the forefront of providing retirement income solutions to participants.
- The company has quickly responded to changing regulatory and competitive environments, such as the introduction of mutual fund options or the development of RetirePlus.
- Although expectations and law regarding workplace benefits have shifted dramatically, TIAA has continued to innovate.