Alliance for Lifetime Income Names New Senior Fellow to Lead Retirement Income Institute

Renowned Retirement Researcher and Former Social Security Administration Chief Economist Jason Fichtner will replace Seth Harris to lead Retirement Income Institute in its second year

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 7, 2021 — The Alliance for Lifetime Income, a non-profit consumer education organization, today announced it has appointed Jason Fichtner to the role of Senior Fellow to lead its Retirement Income Institute, replacing Seth Harris, who was recently named deputy assistant for labor and economy to President Biden.

Fichtner, a senior lecturer at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, has played a leading role in the founding of the Retirement Income Institute, and its efforts to bring together scholarly research and private sector solutions for greater retirement security in America.

In its first year, the Retirement Income Institute published 24 Insights papers and gathered more than 200 leading experts, academics and industry executives for conversations on retirement and aging at the Alliance’s inaugural series of dialogues.

“Seth was instrumental in helping the Institute begin to provide the scholarly research and thought-leadership essential for the Annuities industry to be a credible part of the conversation about how to solve America’s growing retirement income crisis. As he moves into the West Wing of the White House, we wish him well,” said Jean Statler, CEO of the Alliance for Lifetime Income.

“Jason’s work with the Alliance has been invaluable in our efforts to educate Americans about the importance of protected income in retirement,” she added. “His research on issues related to Social Security, annuities, retirement security and related policy ideas, along with his scholarly contributions to the Retirement Income Institute, make him the logical leader for the Institute. We’re privileged to have him lending his expertise to our strategy and operations.

The Retirement Income Institute is a one-of-a-kind organization in this space, bringing together some of the leading experts from academia and industry to create actionable insights and advance our research agenda.

Jason Fichtner  Alliance for Lifetime Income

In his new position, Fichtner will take on an elevated role within the Institute, joining the esteemed leadership team of co-chairs:

  • Jon Forman, Kenneth E. McAfee Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law;
  • Leora Friedberg, associate professor of economics and public policy at the University of Virginia’s Department of Economics and Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; and
  • Barry Stowe, former CEO of Jackson National Life Insurance and member of the Board of Directors for Zurich Insurance Group.

“The Retirement Income Institute is a one-of-a-kind organization in this space, bringing together some of the leading experts from academia and industry to create actionable insights and advance our research agenda,” said Fichtner. “As we continue this effort into its second year, we hope to not only increase the amount of scholarly essays, proposals for literature reviews and funding requests for original scholarly works-in-progress submitted to the Institute, but also to further integrate Alliance member companies into our day-to-day work. In coming together, we will be better equipped to tackle the ever-present retirement income crisis in America.”

Fichtner joined the Johns Hopkins University faculty in 2011 as an adjunct professor. Previously, he was a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

He’s also held leadership positions in the U.S. government, including several positions at the Social Security Administration where he was Acting Deputy Commissioner of Social Security, Chief Economist and Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy, and as a senior economist with the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress.

Throughout his academic career, he also held roles as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy and the Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration and Policy.

About the Alliance for Lifetime Income

The Alliance for Lifetime Income is a non-profit 501(c)(6) educational organization based in Washington, D.C., that creates awareness and educates Americans about the value and importance of having protected lifetime income in retirement. Our vision is for a country where no American has to face the prospect of running out of money in retirement. The Alliance provides consumers and financial advisors with educational resources, interactive tools, and actionable research and insights to use in building retirement income strategies and plans. We believe focusing attention and conversations on retirement income that lasts throughout life leads to greater retirement security for millions of Americans. Learn more at

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