Pension Policy Center 2009 Annual Report

The year 2009 was an active year for the Pension Policy Center.

The book Pension Policy: The Search for Better Solutions, written by John A. Turner, was published by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. This book examines ways to improve both defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans.

Hazel Witte and Turner wrote a report for the Society of Actuaries on Retirement Planning Software and Post-Retirement Risks.  This 100-page report finds that most software is more focused on investment issues than on Social Security issues, even though Social Security benefits and the age at which they are first taken are far more important issues for most people.

Gerard Hughes (Trinity College, Dublin) and Turner presented a paper on Pension Policy for Financial Crises: Lessons from Canada, Ireland, the UK and US at the annual meetings of the European Network on Supplementary pensions, taking place in Leuven, Belgium. This paper will be published in a forthcoming conference volume.

J. Mark Iwry (Retirement Security Project and Brookings Institution) and Turner prepared a prepared a paper under the auspices of the Retirement Security Project on Automatic Annuitization: New Behavioral Strategies for Expanding Annuitization in 401(k) Plans. This paper will be published in an RSP book.

Olivia S. Mitchell (University of Pennsylvania) and Turner prepared a paper on Labor Market Uncertainty and Pension System Performance and presented it at a World Bank/OECD/ING conference in Mexico City. This paper will be published in the conference volume.

Leslie Muller (Hope College) and Turner worked on a report on The Persistence of Employee 401(k) Contributions Over a Stock Market Cycle: The Limited Power of Inertia, to be completed in 2010, for the Upjohn Institute.

Anna Rappaport (Anna Rappaport Consulting) and Turner prepared a paper on How Does Retirement Planning Software Handle Post-Retirement Realities? and presented it at the annual conference of the Pension Research Council at the University of Pennsylvania. This paper will be published in the conference volume.

Courtney Monk (Center for Retirement Research), Natalia A. Zhivan (Center for Retirement Research) and Turner prepared a paper on Adjusting Social Security for Life Expectancy: Effects on Progressivity. The paper was prepared for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Dana Muir (University of Michigan) and Turner prepared the U.S. country report on pension law for the International Social Security Administration’s publication on Complementary and Private Pensions Throughout the World.

Turner assisted the International Social Security Administration in updating its publication on Complementary and Private Pensions Throughout the World.  He was responsible for the section on the Americas, which included reading country reports in Spanish.

Turner gave three presentations at a conference in St. Kitts for English-speaking social security institutions. He also gave a paper on Pension Rate of Return Guarantees in a Market Meltdown: A Longitudinal Analysis Over Two Meltdowns, coauthored with David Rajnes (Social Security Administration) at the 10th anniversary conference of CeRP in Turin, Italy. He presented a paper on Funded Pension Systems: Lessons from Reforms at a conference sponsored by the International Social Security Association in Paris. He gave a presentation to the Executive Committee of the CUE union of employees of the University of California, at Irving. He was a discussant of two papers at the conference of Retirement-USA in Washington, DC.

Turner traveled to Tirana, Albania for the Financial Services Volunteer Corps to advise the Albanian government on its draft pension law.

Turner consulted with the Pension Rights Center in Washington, DC.

Dana Muir (University of Michigan) and Turner worked on organizing the 2010 conference of the European Network for Research on Supplementary Pensions, which will take place in Washington, DC on September 10, 2010. The two of them worked on a paper on Imagining the Ideal Pension System for the United States, to be presented at that conference.