Many people ask me if the Pension Section Council thought “Retirement 20/20” would be an appropriate name for our current multi-year, strategic project because we thought it would last until the year 2020. It was not, and this thought strikes fear deep in my heart. One of my greatest hopes is that the name does not become a tragically self-fulfilling prophecy. By the year 2020, we should (will!) have a retirement system that works for all of our key stakeholders—Employers, Society, Markets, and the Individual.
I would like to share with you some information about this year’s objectives for the Retirement 20/20 project. Hopefully what we accomplish this year will go a long way towards ensuring that the initiative wraps up successfully long before the year 2020. We’re already having a busy year, and much more is planned.
First, we issued three calls for papers (CFPs) that were based on issues identified in our first two (2006 and 2007) Retirement 20/20 symposiums. The CFPs deal with:
- Changing individuals’ retirement behavior by changing certain “signals” in our retirement system,
- Adopting self-adjusting mechanisms to ensure long-term retirement plan health, and
- Structuring default distributions in a way that benefits most retirees.
These topics will form the foundation of our 2008 Retirement 20/20 symposium, tentatively scheduled for November. This year’s conference will be a little different from the previous two. We are focusing on a smaller number of topics in order to cover them in considerable depth, but the event should be as lively and informative as the first two.
Another recently completed initiative is the Measurement Framework, and I recommend Cindy Levering’s article on this topic (conveniently found in this very issue of the Pension Section News).
A new project that we would like to begin this year is directed at increasing the visibility of our Retirement 20/20 effort within the actuarial community—to both pension and non-pension actuaries. Not only do we hope that this effort will lead to a greater appreciation within the Pension community of our efforts, but we would like to get actuaries in all practice areas involved in thinking about Retirement 20/20 and the larger societal implications of a healthy and sustainable retirement system. This project has not yet begun, and we welcome your suggestions as to how to proceed.
Please check out our progress at www.retirement2020.soa.org. If you would like to volunteer for any Pension Section Council activity (recall that along with our Retirement 20/20 projects we also have three standing committees: Communications, Continuing Education, and Research), please contact me.
Sandi Kruszenski, ASA, MAAA, EA is the Pension Section Council Chair for 2008. She is a consulting actuary based near Seattle, Wash. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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