Leading Retirement Academics and Experts Will Produce Actionable Research, Insights and Ideas to Help Solve Retirement Income Challenges for Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 3, 2020 — Today, the Alliance for Lifetime Income announced the establishment of the Retirement Income Institute, a new program that will conduct scholarly retirement income research and develop innovative ideas to advance the Alliance’s mission of helping to increase the number of households that are protected in retirement. Approximately 80 million U.S. households are unprotected, meaning they have no source of protected lifetime income – such as a pension or annuity – other than Social Security.

Focused on fostering research that supports actionable change in the U.S. retirement ecosystem, the Institute will build a bridge between scholarly, evidence-based research and analysis on retirement income with practical ideas and actions that retirement savers, employer plan sponsors, financial professionals, annuity manufacturers and distributors, academics, policymakers and others can put to work to help protect retirees from running out of money during their lifetime.

The Institute’s leadership includes:

  • Jon Forman, co-chair; Kenneth E. McAfee Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
  • Leora Friedberg, co-chair; 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;
  • Barry Stowe, co-chair; former CEO of Jackson National Life Insurance, and member of the Board of Directors for Zurich Insurance Group;
  • Seth Harris, senior advisor; former acting U.S. secretary and deputy secretary of labor and former professor and director of labor & employment law programs at New York Law School.

“We’re excited and proud to launch this new Institute, which brings together some of our country’s leading scholars to collaborate with the Alliance’s member companies to find innovative ways to tackle retirement income security in America today,” said Jean Statler, executive director of the Alliance. “I believe two things will differentiate this Institute from many other great retirement research organizations: our specific focus on protected retirement income, and the ability to combine scholarly research and thinking with real-world data and the practical expertise and experience of the retirement industry. Every day, the Institute will be focused on overcoming roadblocks to connecting protected lifetime income with the retirement needs, goals and aspirations of consumers.”

“Through the Retirement Income Institute, the Alliance will have the opportunity to identify and address barriers to delivering protected income, and build a foundation for future innovation to help our best thinkers decipher some of the intractable problems in our industry,” said Barry Stowe, co-chair of the Institute’s Retirement Industry Advisory Group. “We want to unearth solutions that help more Americans retire with less risk, more confidence and real financial security to live the life they want in retirement.”

The Institute has announced the four topics that will constitute its 2020 research agenda:

  • New approaches to the annuity puzzle;
  • Optimizing annuities in a retirement portfolio;
  • Private sector solutions for legal and regulatory barriers to annuities in 401(k) plans; and
  • Understanding differences in consumer behavior and decision-making.

The Institute’s work will benefit from expert advice provided, in part, by a Scholars Advisory Group, led by Co-Chairs Friedberg and Forman, and including the following scholars and academic thought leaders:

  • Andrew Biggs, resident scholar, American Enterprise Institute
  • Annamaria Lusardi, Denit Trust Endowed Chair of Economics and Accountancy, George Washington University School of Business
  • Ben Harris, Alliance fellow; executive director, Kellogg Private-Public Interface, Northwestern University
  • Bill Gale, Alliance fellow; Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy and senior fellow in the economic studies program, Brookings Institution
  • Gopi Shah Goda, Alliance fellow; senior fellow and deputy director, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
  • Jason Fichtner, Alliance fellow; senior lecturer, associate director, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
  • Julie Agnew, Richard C. Kraemer Term Professor of Business, William & Mary School of Business
  • Michael Finke, Alliance Fellow; dean and chief academic officer, The American College of Financial Services
  • Nora Super, senior director, Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging
  • Wade Pfau, Alliance fellow; professor of retirement income, The American College of Financial Services

To learn more about the Retirement Income Institute, please visit

To learn more about the Alliance, visit

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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