Retirement Income Institute

The Institute seeks to shape a future in which Americans are able to retire with a more secure economic future, one with less risk and higher levels of confidence. It will do that by fostering innovation and reforms that lead to actions that benefit individuals, families and society. The Institute will sponsor new research and analysis – supported by data and evidence – that helps generate insights and ideas to secure Americans’ retirement through protected lifetime income. We’re bringing together some of our country’s leading scholars to collaborate with the Alliance’s member companies to find groundbreaking ways to tackle retirement income security in America today.

The Institute will build a bridge between scholarly, evidence-based research and analysis on retirement income with practical ideas and actions that can help protect retirees from running out of money during their lifetime. Every day, the Institute is focused on overcoming roadblocks to connecting protected lifetime income with the retirement needs, goals and aspirations of consumers.

Jean Statler  CEO, Alliance for Lifetime Income

Vision

The Retirement Income Institute will seek to facilitate and foster private-sector innovation and reform to shape a future in which Americans are able to retire with less risk, more confidence, and a more secure economic future.

Mission

The Retirement Income Institute will create a bridge from ideas, research, and evidence to action related to protected lifetime income – by retirement savers, the Alliance for Lifetime Income’s member companies, employers, financial professionals, and other key participants in the U.S. retirement ecosystem.

The Institute has adopted its 2021 Research Agenda and issued a new call for papers.

Every calendar quarter, the Institute will issue a new call for papers to solicit high-quality research and opinion from the nation’s scholars, graduate students, and retirement experts.

By building a bridge between scholarly, evidence-based research and analysis, with practical ideas and actions, we’re able to translate this research and analysis into actions that, ultimately, can help protect retirees.

See what the institute accomplished in 2020. Download our end of year report.

Research and Insights

The Institute will offer private-sector insights about and solutions to the barriers preventing households from securing protected lifetime income. The Institute will fund and support original scholarly research as well as efforts to translate existing scholarly research. Institute programs will include:

  • Original scholarly research (proposed or underway) in academia
  • Retirement Income Insights
  • Scholarly Essays
  • Literature reviews

The Institute has adopted its 2021 Research Agenda consisting of four topics directly related to protected lifetime income as part of retirement planning for American households:

  • Optimizing annuities in a portfolio for retirement and late-life health costs.
  • Understanding differences in consumer behavior and decision-making, including differences associated with race and gender.
  • Private-sector strategies for including annuities in employer-provided retirement plans.
  • Annuities in the era of COVID-19 and low interest rates.

Institute Leadership

  • Jon Forman

    Co-Chair, Scholars Advisory Group, Kenneth E. McAfee Centennial Chair in Law, University of Oklahoma College of Law

    Jon Forman

    Professor Jonathan Barry Forman is the Kenneth E. McAfee Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Oklahoma, where he teaches courses on tax and pension law. Professor Forman served in Washington, DC, as the Professor in Residence for the Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel for the 2009–2010 academic year, and he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) from 2003 through 2011. Professor Forman is also a co-director of the Washington-DC-based Retirement Income Institute. He is also active in the American Bar Association, the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, the American College of Tax Counsel (a regent since 2017), the Association of American Law Professors, the TIAA Institute, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Professor Forman has lectured around the world, testified before Congress, and served on numerous federal and state advisory committees.

    Professor Forman has more than 300 publications including Making America Work (Urban Institute Press 2006); Survivor Funds, 37(1) Pace Law Review 204 (Fall 2016) (with Michael J. Sabin); Removing the Legal Impediments to Offering Lifetime Annuities in Pension Plans, 23(1) Connecticut Insurance Law Journal 31–141 (Fall 2016); Making the Internal Revenue Service Work, 17(10) Florida Tax Review 725 (2015) (with Roberta F. Mann); and Tontine Pensions, 163(3) University of Pennsylvania Law Review 755 (Feb. 2015) (with Michael J. Sabin). In addition to his many scholarly publications, Professor Forman has published op-eds in Barron’s, the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Washington Times, the Daily Oklahoman, and numerous other newspapers and magazines. Professor Forman earned his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1978, and he has Master’s degrees in economics and psychology. Also, prior to entering academia, it was his privilege to serve in all three branches of the federal government, including as Tax Counsel to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY).

  • Leora Friedberg

    Co-Chair, Scholars Advisory Group, Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy, University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

    Leora Friedberg

    Leora Friedberg is an Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. She is also an affiliated researcher of the Michigan Retirement and Disability Research Center and a Research Fellow of the TIAA Institute. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Pension Economics and Finance and of the University of Virginia Retirement Administrative Committee and previously served for four years on the Board of Trustees of the Southern Economic Association, for four years on the University of Virginia Faculty Senate, and on seven occasions as a member of the Retirement Security Advisory Panel for the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

    Friedberg’s research focuses on retirement and saving behavior of older Americans, including studies of the Social Security earnings test, the structure of employer pension benefits, and the interaction between Medicaid long-term care benefits and household saving and insurance decisions. Additional research studies family formation and dissolution in response to bargaining theory, state family law, and the U.S. tax code. Her research has been funded by the National Institute on Aging and the U.S. Social Security Administration. She has testified for the U.S. Congress and has served on numerous grant review, conference paper selection, and awards committees. Friedberg received her Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Barry Stowe

    Co-Chair; former CEO of Jackson National Life Insurance, and member of the Board of Directors for Zurich Insurance Group

    Barry Stowe

    Barry Stowe has extensive business experience and knowledge gained through executive roles in the insurance industry in North America and Asia. Between 2006 and 2018 he was a member of the board of directors and the group executive committee of Prudential plc. From 2015 to 2018 he served as chairman and CEO of Jackson Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Prudential plc, and from 2006 to 2015, as CEO of Prudential Corporation Asia. From 1995 to 2006 he held senior executive positions at American International Group (AIG), including serving as president of AIG Life Companies Accident & Health Worldwide based in Hong-Kong from 2001 to 2006. From 1992 to 1995 he served as president of NISUS, a subsidiary of Pan-American Life Insurance Group. From 1980 to 1992 he held several positions at Willis Corroon Group plc in the U.S., an insurance and reinsurance brokerage services company. He joined the boards of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd and of Zurich Insurance Company Ltd in April 2019.

  • Jason Fichtner

    Senior Fellow, Retirement Income Institute; Chief Economist, Bipartisan Policy Center

    Jason Fichtner

    Jason Fichtner is Chief Economist at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Previously, he was Senior Lecturer of International Economics and Associate Director of the International Economics and Finance (MIEF) program at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His research focuses on Social Security, federal tax policy, federal budget policy, retirement security, and policy proposals to increase saving and investment. Fichtner served in several positions at the Social Security Administration, including Deputy Commissioner of Social Security (acting), Chief Economist, and Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy. He also served as a Senior Research Fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Senior Economist with the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, Economist with the Internal Revenue Service, and as a Senior Consultant with the Office of Federal Tax Services at Arthur Andersen, LLP. Fichtner earned his BA from the University of Michigan, his MPP from Georgetown University, and his Ph.D. in public administration and policy from Virginia Tech.

  • Jon Forman

    Professor Jonathan Barry Forman is the Kenneth E. McAfee Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Oklahoma, where he teaches courses on tax and pension law. Professor Forman served in Washington, DC, as the Professor in Residence for the Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel for the 2009–2010 academic year, and he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) from 2003 through 2011. Professor Forman is also a co-director of the Washington-DC-based Retirement Income Institute. He is also active in the American Bar Association, the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, the American College of Tax Counsel (a regent since 2017), the Association of American Law Professors, the TIAA Institute, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Professor Forman has lectured around the world, testified before Congress, and served on numerous federal and state advisory committees.

    Professor Forman has more than 300 publications including Making America Work (Urban Institute Press 2006); Survivor Funds, 37(1) Pace Law Review 204 (Fall 2016) (with Michael J. Sabin); Removing the Legal Impediments to Offering Lifetime Annuities in Pension Plans, 23(1) Connecticut Insurance Law Journal 31–141 (Fall 2016); Making the Internal Revenue Service Work, 17(10) Florida Tax Review 725 (2015) (with Roberta F. Mann); and Tontine Pensions, 163(3) University of Pennsylvania Law Review 755 (Feb. 2015) (with Michael J. Sabin). In addition to his many scholarly publications, Professor Forman has published op-eds in Barron’s, the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Washington Times, the Daily Oklahoman, and numerous other newspapers and magazines. Professor Forman earned his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1978, and he has Master’s degrees in economics and psychology. Also, prior to entering academia, it was his privilege to serve in all three branches of the federal government, including as Tax Counsel to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY).

  • Leora Friedberg

    Leora Friedberg is an Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. She is also an affiliated researcher of the Michigan Retirement and Disability Research Center and a Research Fellow of the TIAA Institute. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Pension Economics and Finance and of the University of Virginia Retirement Administrative Committee and previously served for four years on the Board of Trustees of the Southern Economic Association, for four years on the University of Virginia Faculty Senate, and on seven occasions as a member of the Retirement Security Advisory Panel for the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

    Friedberg’s research focuses on retirement and saving behavior of older Americans, including studies of the Social Security earnings test, the structure of employer pension benefits, and the interaction between Medicaid long-term care benefits and household saving and insurance decisions. Additional research studies family formation and dissolution in response to bargaining theory, state family law, and the U.S. tax code. Her research has been funded by the National Institute on Aging and the U.S. Social Security Administration. She has testified for the U.S. Congress and has served on numerous grant review, conference paper selection, and awards committees. Friedberg received her Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Barry Stowe

    Barry Stowe has extensive business experience and knowledge gained through executive roles in the insurance industry in North America and Asia. Between 2006 and 2018 he was a member of the board of directors and the group executive committee of Prudential plc. From 2015 to 2018 he served as chairman and CEO of Jackson Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Prudential plc, and from 2006 to 2015, as CEO of Prudential Corporation Asia. From 1995 to 2006 he held senior executive positions at American International Group (AIG), including serving as president of AIG Life Companies Accident & Health Worldwide based in Hong-Kong from 2001 to 2006. From 1992 to 1995 he served as president of NISUS, a subsidiary of Pan-American Life Insurance Group. From 1980 to 1992 he held several positions at Willis Corroon Group plc in the U.S., an insurance and reinsurance brokerage services company. He joined the boards of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd and of Zurich Insurance Company Ltd in April 2019.

  • Jason Fichtner

    Jason Fichtner is Chief Economist at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Previously, he was Senior Lecturer of International Economics and Associate Director of the International Economics and Finance (MIEF) program at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His research focuses on Social Security, federal tax policy, federal budget policy, retirement security, and policy proposals to increase saving and investment. Fichtner served in several positions at the Social Security Administration, including Deputy Commissioner of Social Security (acting), Chief Economist, and Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy. He also served as a Senior Research Fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Senior Economist with the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, Economist with the Internal Revenue Service, and as a Senior Consultant with the Office of Federal Tax Services at Arthur Andersen, LLP. Fichtner earned his BA from the University of Michigan, his MPP from Georgetown University, and his Ph.D. in public administration and policy from Virginia Tech.

Meet the Advisory Groups

Meet the Scholars Advisory Group

Members evaluate and provide original academic research, essays, and literature reviews regarding protected lifetime income.

Learn More

Meet the Retirement Industry Advisory Group

Provides real-world business inputs and insights to the Institute’s research agenda, to help improve retirement income security in America.

Learn More

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