Joined by representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Employee Benefit Research Institute hosted a full-day Retirement Summit on December 1, 2022. The event convened high-ranking thought leaders in the retirement industry and employers, consultants, policymakers, regulators, and academics to tackle the important challenge of creating a more integrated, equitable, and effective U.S. retirement system.
Topics of the Summit were: 1) improving individuals’ access to the retirement system; 2) reducing leakage from the retirement system; 3) helping people spend down their assets in retirement; and 4) improving the investment outcomes for American workers within the retirement system.
8:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. — Breakfast
In-Person & Live-Streamed Public Sessions:
8:50 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. — Kick-Off and Intro: Outlining the Challenge
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. — Big Ideas Panel 1: Access to the System
How do we broadly re-envision the structure of the private and public retirement systems so that together they cover American workers—including self-employed workers?
Moderator: Suzanne Woolley, Bloomberg
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. — Big Ideas Panel 2: Leakage From the System
How do we address leakage from the retirement system through loans, withdrawals, and cashouts, including the larger financial wellness needs of American workers, including debt, medical expenses, and emergency savings?
Moderator: Robert Powell, finStream.tv
11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. — Break
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. — Big Ideas Panel 3: Spending in Retirement
How do we tackle the needs of a growing population of retirees as they draw down from the retirement system?
Moderator: Anne Tergesen, Wall Street Journal
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. — Networking Lunch & Ray Lillywhite Awards: Senators Portman and Cardin; Eric Stevenson, President of Nationwide Retirement as Moderator
2:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. — Break
In-Person, Private Sessions:
2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. — Academic and Consumer Group Perspectives
In this session, we will hear from leading academics as well as the foremost retirement experts at several key organization that represent consumer interests on the morning’s key themes of access, leakage, and spending in retirement. What are the challenges and opportunities? What are the systemic improvements that could be addressed? What will it take to move forward?
Moderator: Toni Brown, Retirement Strategist, Capital Group
3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. — Roundtables: How do we improve the retirement system in a holistic fashion that will lead to better outcomes for all U.S. workers
Roundtables 1–3 — Access: This roundtable addresses gaps to retirement plan access, and how to address them, including the role of Pre-Tax and Roth 401(k)s, MEPs, PEPs, State IRAs, HSAs, DB plans and
more. The roundtable will also address DEI topics, such access for minorities and women owning small business, and other constituents.
Roundtables 4–7 — Spending: This roundtable examines considerations around spending in retirement and how the system should address them. What is the role of annuities and guaranteed income, stable value and “retirement spending investment menus,” RMDs, retirement paychecks and other spending help? How do we make existing and new solutions affordable, understandable, attractive?
Roundtable 8 — Investing: This roundtable considers what retirement investment vehicles of the future should look like, including collective investment trusts in 403(b) plans, unitized DB plans in 401(k) menus, alternative asset classes, target date funds and managed account, in-plan annuities, and more.
Roundtables 9 & 10 — Leakage: This roundtable starts with understanding the key areas of retirement system leakage: including cashouts, loans, and withdrawals from the retirement system. How much is lost from the system? What are the real issues around leakage? What is the role of emergency savings vehicles in stemming leakage? HSAs and other vehicles to address medical spending needs? Auto-portability? Loan insurance?
4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. — Readout from the Roundtables
5:15 p.m. — Networking reception and wrap-up presentation(s): Identifying next steps