Work Opportunity with Policy Futures Network

Policy Futures Network is engaging a policy researcher, analyst and writer to work on a Project aimed at developing the general design parameters (plus options) of a New System supporting savings and wealth accumulation for all Americans. The Project will involve significant research, discussions, analysis, writing, and presenting, and the Project’s output will include written reports/articles, podcasts, videos, and participation in meetings and discussions. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please get in touch with Harry Conaway via email ( or phone/text (+1 202 495 8500).

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Pardon Our Dust!

You are on the in-progress website for Policy Futures Network (PFN), a “coming together” of experts, experiences, research, and perspectives to discuss interesting and provocative research and policy issues and to develop smart, coherent long-term policy ideas and frameworks on key topics, such as retirement security, lifetime financial wellbeing, health, workforce, climate change, and education. We are developing content about PFN and a few key policy issues, and we expect to begin rolling PFN out this summer. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments, you can contact me at or +1 202 495 8500.

Improving Retirement Systems After COVID-19

In “Building Better Retirement Systems in the Wake of the Global Pandemic” (May 2020), Olivia S. Mitchell discusses expanding coverage and contributions, delinking retirement benefits from employers, supporting hybrid designs, encouraging continued work and delayed retirement, indexing retirement ages, helping participants purchase annuities, and strengthening safety net programs.

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Why Are 401(k)/IRA Balances So Low?

This Working Paper (November 2019) by Andrew Biggs, Alicia Munnell, and Angi Chen examines why workers’ 401(k)/IRA balances are substantially below their potential: immaturity of the 401(k) system, lack of universal coverage/participation, pre-retirement leakage, and fees (in that order). They note the shortfall will continue after the system matures unless coverage and participation improve.

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The Growing Burden of Retirement: Rising Costs and Greater Risk Increase Uncertainty

In a Report by the National Institute on Retirement Security (September 2020), Tyler Bond and Dan Doonan discuss barriers to retirement adequacy: inability to save, unpooled risks in DC plans, and cost increases in retirement. Possible solutions include social insurance approaches to long-term care, higher tax incentives for plans meeting higher standards, improved annuity options, and expanded Social Security.

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Thoughts on How to Improve US Retirement Policy

In an early-2019 interview, Alicia H. Munnell, PhD shared her views about key retirement policies: (i) Social Security financing, retirement ages, claiming strategies, and minimum benefits, (ii) auto-coverage and auto-investments, pre-retirement distributions, and partial annuitization in private plans and IRAs, (iii) working longer, (iv) state/local plans, (v) role of education and debt, and (vi) homes as retirement assets.

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Get the PFN Newsletter

Policy Futures Network produces a regular email featuring recent content published on PFN. By signing up for the Newsletter, it'll be easier for you to stay current with key developments and new PFN thinking relating to those US policy topics that PFN has prioritized. At present, the PFN Newsletter is issued monthly. Click on the headline above to access the PFN Newsletter sign-up form.

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Baby Bonds Promote Economic and Racial Equality

“A Birthright to Capital” (February 2020) by Darrick Hamilton, Emanuel Nieves, Shira Markoff, and David Newville describes how Baby Bonds providing newborns with funds for wealth-building investments (e.g., college education, home purchases, and new businesses) would support long-term economic success and, given the relationship between lower wealth and non-White households, would reduce racial inequities.

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