In an effort to keep retirement leaders informed on a range of retirement issues, NIRS hosts “Retirement Dialogues,” webinars with timely, relevant information of retirement challenges and opportunities.
The Risks and Opportunities of Investing in Emerging Markets | November 15th, 2023
Investing in emerging markets has proven to be a challenge for many recently. The promise has always been that faster growth and higher returns would compensate for the risk of investing in a disparate collection of volatile foreign markets. While returns have remained respectable over the past 30 years, the past decade has failed to deliver. This has tested the patience of many, and with so much uncertainty in the world today, how do we build confidence in these markets as attractive long-term investments from here? With an open mind, this webinar considered the risks of economic fragility and geopolitics, against the promise of broad-based economic progress, rising innovation, and the opportunities of the energy transition.
Webinar speakers included Ben Durrant, an investment manager in the Emerging Markets Equity Team at Baillie Gifford; and Tyler Bond, Research Director at the National Institute on Retirement Security. Watch the webinar replay. Download the presentation.
Will Older Workers in Physically Challenging Jobs Be Able to Retire? | November 1, 2023
The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) recently convened a task force on older workers’ retirement security to examine the work and retirement experiences of older workers. A new task force report summarizes the results of their work and sheds important light on an often “invisible” population of older workers in physically demanding jobs. Contrary to the popular narrative that older workers are living longer, healthier lives in less physically demanding jobs, the task force found more than 10 million older workers are in jobs that are physically challenging and lack the resources to secure more viable jobs or retire. These workers are disproportionately low earners with lower educational attainment than the average American worker, and they predominantly are workers of color.
This webinar featured NASI experts and members of the task force discussing the findings of the new report. Webinar speakers included: William Arnone, CEO of the National Academy of Social Insurance; Rebecca Vallas, Senior Fellow at the Century Foundation, NASI Board Member and Task Force Member; Joel Eskovitz, Director of Social Security and Savings at the AARP Public Policy Institute and Task Force Member; Tracey Gronniger, Managing Director, Economic Security and Housing at Justice in Aging. Watch the webinar replay. Download the presentation.
Cybersecurity Governance for Pension Funds in the Age of AI | October 18th, 2023
As pension funds are currently assessing the benefits of using AI to increase productivity and better serve members, this webinar aimed to inform decision makers of the elevated risk posed by emerging AI technologies and discusses ways to effectively deploy governance across the organization that includes AI usage. The agenda included a discussion of the benefits and inherent risks of AI use, current programs that are taking AI into account, and a live use case demonstration.
Webinar speakers included Andrew Roth, Deputy Director at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas; Peter Dewar, President of Linea Secure; and Nate Haws, Associate Principal Consultant at Linea Solutions. Watch the webinar replay. Download the presentation.
Adapting for Tomorrow: Preparing for Pension Administration Modernization | September 20, 2023
Representatives from Tegrit, Linea Solutions, and the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System of Michigan shared their insights on modernizing PAS from the perspectives of a vendor, a consultant, and a client. Pension plans that are considering modernizing their pension administration learned from those who have gone through this process and heard about what to expect and steps they can take to minimize surprises.
Webinar speakers included: Laurie Mitchell, RFP Management and Marketing, Tegrit; Kevin Lynch, Senior Vice President of Client Solutions, Linea Solutions; and Kerrie Vanden Bosch, Chief Executive Officer, MERS of MI. Watch the webinar replay. Download the webinar presentation.
Leveraging AI in the Retirement Industry | August 16, 2023
Experts with Linea Solutions provided insight on how organizations can embrace Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transform the way work is accomplished and provide better service to members/customers. It takes only minimal knowledge of AI for leaders to leverage the many benefits of the technology. Attendees learned multiple ways retirement organizations can leverage AI tools, how to prepare staff to use the technology, and approaches to mitigate risk. The session also included an AI pension case study.
Webinar speakers from Linea Solutions included Akio Tagawa, president and chief executive officer, and Nate Haws, associate principal consultant. Watch the webinar replay. Download the webinar presentation. Download AI Policy Template. Download AI Governance Charter Template. Download AI Use Case Form.
Unlocking Value in Dislocated Markets | July 12, 2023
Chip Davis, Senior Vice President of Private Equity at Northern Trust subsidiary 50 South Capital discussed how continued market volatility and lower expected returns from traditional asset classes has brought alternatives to the forefront of the investing landscape. When seeking increased diversification and higher returns, investors often look towards private markets to help meet their objectives. Attendees learned about how secondary strategies can provide an opportunity to deliver on a retirement plan’s unique needs with strong absolute returns in times of market dislocation. Watch the webinar replay. Download the webinar presentation. Read a related report by 50 South Capital.
Alaska’s Experience Moving Public Employees from Pensions to Defined Contribution Plans | June 12, 2023
In 2005, Alaska closed its two statewide defined benefit pension plans for teachers and public employees. Since July 1, 2006, all new Alaska hires participate in a defined contribution plan rather than a pension plan. The retirement plan change has had the unintended consequence of creating workforce recruitment and retention challenges for public employers. During the webinar, attendees heard from two Alaska policymakers about the workforce impacts of switching from pensions to defined contribution plans. Attendees heard about a new report, Alaska Teacher Recruitment and Retention Study: Options and Analysis Supporting Retirement Plan Design. This report, which was delivered to the Alaska Department of Education, reviews the impacts of various retirement benefit offerings on the recruitment and retention of Alaska’s public education employees. The research finds that switching Alaska’s public employees from pension plans to 401(k)-style defined contribution accounts resulted in increased turnover among new hires. The research comes as teacher shortages plague Alaska and communities across the country.Webinar speakers included: Dan Doonan, Executive Director, National Institute on Retirement Security; Cathy Giessel, Alaska State Senator, Majority Leader, Bipartisan Coalition; and Chuck Kopp, Former Member of Alaska House of Representatives and Retired Alaska Police Officer. Watch the webinar replay. Download the webinar presentation.
Social Security | What’s Next and New Research | April 26, 2023
In recent months, the debate about Social Security has been heating up. Some policymakers are calling for benefit cuts while others are making the case for expanding benefits. Federal lawmakers are weighing legislative options, but getting to a bi-partisan solution won’t be easy During this webinar, a panel of experts provided insight on the current state of the program, the potential for legislation advancing on Capitol Hill, and an innovative idea for caregiving credits as part of Social Security. Attendees also heard about the findings of new research brief, A Vanishing Benefit: Why Social Security’s Special Minimum Benefit is Fading Away, from the National Institute on Retirement Security.
Webinar speaker included Tyler Bond, Research Director, National Institute on Retirement Security; Joan Entmacher, Senior Fellow, National Academy of Social Insurance; and Joel Eskovitz, Director, AARP Public Policy Institute. Watch the webinar replay. Download the webinar slides.
- Wednesday, October 5th at 2 PM ET: Preparing Retirement Systems to Manage a Cybersecurity Incident. This webinar offers a discussion on preparing for and managing a cybersecurity event if one occurs for a retirement system. The topics include recognizing the current threat landscape, steps to include when preparing an incident response plan, and how to conduct an incident response using a methodology that protects privileged information. Moderating the discussion was Peter Dewar, President of Linea Secure, a cybersecurity firm in the retirement industry. Participants included John Rosenburg, Information Security Officer of New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS), Jefferey Saiger, Chief Information Office of the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois, and Michael Kreps, Privacy and Cybersecurity Attorney with Groom Law. Watch the replay. Download the presentation.
- Tuesday, September 20th at 2 PM ET: Measuring Public Pension Health: New Metrics, New Approaches. Culminating more than a year of study, the Pension Accounting Working Group recently unveiled a roadmap for broadening understanding of what constitutes a healthy public pension system. How the financial health of a public pension system is measured matters because metrics play an important role in decision making. Three new metrics that can help guide decisions by managers and policy makers are among the options presented in a new report, “Measuring Public Pension Health: New Metrics and New Approaches.” The research presents several new metrics policymakers can use to assess system health, both in the short term and for long-term sustainability including a cash flow yardstick, a risk metric for asset allocation, and a sustainability metric for a system’s liability. During this webinar, Tom Sgouros, fellow at The Policy Lab at Brown University, reviewed the research findings and responded to questions. Watch the webinar replay. Download the presentation.
- Thursday, May 12th at 2:00 PM ET | Engaging Plan Participants to Improve Retirement Readiness. With the proliferation of defined contribution and hybrid plan designs, employers are reimagining how to engage participants with the knowledge and resources to effectively plan for retirement. During this webinar, Ashley Nabors, Assistant Treasurer for Financial Empowerment with the Tennessee Department of Treasury, shared information on RetireReadyTN. This program is an innovative approach to measuring retirement readiness, creating a comprehensive customer service experience, and designing targeted communication and outreach strategies to improve retirement security. Watch the webinar replay. Download the presentation.
Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 2:00 PM ET | Managing Cybersecurity Risks in the Retirement Industry. This webinar offered a discussion with practicing professionals on the impacts of cybersecurity risks and threats to the retirement industry. Topics for risk mitigation strategies included risk transfer (such as acquiring cyber insurance), how to conduct an incident response approach, and the legal ramifications if proper controls are not set. Moderating the discussion was be Peter Dewar, President of Linea Secure, a cybersecurity firm in the retirement industry. Participants included John Rosenburg, Information Security Officer of New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) and Adam Griffin, Privacy and Cybersecurity Attorney with Maynard Cooper.
- Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at 2:00 PM ET | Innovative Public Pension Funding Strategies. The National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) and the Conference of Consulting Actuaries (CCA) recently announced three submissions as winners of the new award competition: Innovative Public Pension Funding Strategies. During this webinar, Ellen Kleinstuber, an award judge, chief actuary with Bolton, and CCA president, moderated a presentation by representatives from each winning submissions:
- The Cost of Stability: A Case Study by Robert (Andy) Blough, FSA, EA, MAAA, FCA and Seth Stock, MBA. Read the funding plan here.
- Risk-Based Funding Policy by Bill Winningham, Michelle Boyles, Aaron Shapiro, and David Kent. Read the funding planhere.
- Reserve Fund Stabilized Contribution Policy—A Model Public Pension Funding Policy by David Draine. Read the funding plan here.
- Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at 2:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and download a presentation about the differences in life expectancy between defined benefit pension pension plan participants and the U.S. population as a whole. Recent improvements in life expectancy have not been shared equally across society, and socioeconomic status is a key driver in mortality expectations. According to research from Club Vita, pension plan participants have a noticeably longer life expectancy than the U.S. population, along with a faster rate of longevity improvements. These differences raise questions regarding whether these varied experiences should be considered when actuaries are modeling mortality rates for pension plans.
- Wednesday, September 22, 2021, at 2:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and download a presentation, Building Safeguards into Pension Obligation Bonds. With borrowing costs reaching extraordinarily low levels throughout the pandemic, Pension Obligation Bonds (POBs) are drawing increasing attention. However, POBs are a tool that carry risks, as well as potential rewards. During this webinar, Becky Sielman, Milliman Principal and Consulting Actuary, discussed the risks and rewards of POBs. She also discussed a case study, “Pension Obligation Bonds: How One Town Quantified and Mitigated the Risks.” This case study outlines the process one town used to assess the associated risks and rewards of POBs and the measures put in place as part of the POB bond package to reduce those risks.
- Wednesday, August 4, 2021, at 2:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and download a presentation, Lessons From Abroad: What the U.S. Can Learn From Other Countries About Accessible Long-Term Care. The U.S. lacks a universal long-term care program, and Medicaid has become the largest single payer of long-term care costs in the U.S. Meanwhile, individual states like Washington are pursuing innovative social insurance approaches to providing affordable and accessible long-term care. Other countries have had universal long-term care programs for decades, and these programs offer many lessons for policymakers, advocates, and researchers. The webinar features Benjamin Veghte, author of a new issue brief, Designing Universal Long-Term Services and Supports Programs: Lessons from Germany and Other Countries. Veghte also directs the WA Cares Fund, the state’s long-term care social insurance program. He offers insights into the approaches taken by other countries, as well as his experience establishing a universal long-term care program in the U.S.
- Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at 2:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and download a presentation, Costs Matter: How costs impact the performance of the worlds’ largest institutional investors. The importance of investment costs in shaping the long-term performance of institutional investor portfolios is a topic receiving increased attention by boards, management, regulators, politicians, and the public at large. While short term differences in performance can be dominated by how heavily invested one is in an asset class de jour, over longer-term periods, costs really do matter. During this webinar, Dr. A.D. Beath from CEM Benchmarking discussed how the importance of investment cost relative to alpha generation from manager selection in determining short- and long-term performance using real, unbiased data provided by large, global Institutional Investors for the past 25+ years.
- Wednesday, March 24, 2021, at 2:0 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar reply and download a presentation, The State & Local Workforce: Employee Sentiment & Employment Outlook. During the webinar, attendees will heard about a new report, Update on Public Sector Employee Views on Finances and Employment Outlook Due to COVID-19: May vs. October 2020. The session also provided a review of a related report, K-12 Public School Employee Views on Finances, Employment Outlook, and Safety Concerns Due to COVID-19. Speakers included Joshua Franzel, managing director, and Rivka Liss-Levinson, senior research manager, with the Center for State and Local Government Excellence at ICMA-RC.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021, at 2:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and download a presentation, Gig Economy Workers & Retirement Security. More than a quarter of the workforce participates in the gig economy, which includes self-employed consultants, freelancers and contractors, plus temporary and on-call workers. While these non-traditional forms of work provide an appealing career path for many, it typically doesn’t come with a retirement plan. Experts from the Aspen Institute, Karen Andres and Shelly Steward, discussed the retirement challenges facing gig economy workers and how to improve the retirement outlook for these contingent workers, such as through state-facilitated retirement savings plans.
- Thursday, January 21, 2021, at 2:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay of this session and download a presentation, The Outlook for State Budgets in 2021 and Beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic and recession have severely impacted state government budgets through a combination of increased costs and decreased revenues. As state legislatures convene for their 2021 sessions, Wes Tharpe, deputy director of state policy research at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, provided insight on the road ahead for state budgets. He also shared insights and expertise on the long-term impacts and short-term consequences.
- Wednesday, November 18, 2020, at 2:00 PM EST | Listen/watch a webinar replay of a discussion of the future of healthcare, retirement and other social insurance programs with Jacob S. Hacker, Ph.D., who serves on the NIRS Academic Advisory Board. Dr. Hacker is Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies and the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University. He shares his thoughts on the results of the recent election and what he sees as the key dynamics of the policy agenda relating to healthcare and retirement in 2021 and beyond.
- Monday, November 16, 2020, at 2:00 PM EST | Listen/watch a webinar replay and review a presentation of this webinar with experts discussing recent and proposed changes to actuarial standards that will impact the pension liability and risk measures that we will see in the future. Attendees learned what changes are coming, and panelists weighed in on the types of information they see as useful for bringing about better decision making. Speakers included Flick Fornia, Pension Trustee Advisors, Joe Newton, Gabriel Roeder Smith and Company, and Todd Tauzer, Segal.
- Wednesday, August 19, 2020, at 2:00 PM ET | Public sector retirement systems are facing market volatility stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen to a webinar replay* and review the introductory slides from a session with three retirement systems directors, along with a review of previous research that examines financial downturns, Lessons From Well-Funded Public Pensions. Attendees heard an update on the retirement systems amid this latest economic crisis, as well as a discussion of how this health-driven COVID-19 crisis is impacting retirement plans as compared to the housing-driven financial crisis. We also revisited key elements of public sector defined benefit pension plans detailed in the report. (*Please note that due to technical difficulties, the speaker video was not captured in the recording, but audio recording of the presentation is available.)
- Friday, August 14, 2020, at 2:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and review a presentation that offers and discussion with actuarial experts of the potential impacts of COVID-19 on teachers and their plans for retirement. With schools announcing re-opening plans amid rising COVID-19 cases, how will teachers react to the uncertainty about returning to the classroom? Will we see an increase or reduction in retirements stemming from in-person or virtual learning environments? What should states and school districts know as they set a course for the 2020-21 school year? The expert panel examines how the potential of COVID-19 on classrooms and pensions at a time when the nation already is facing a shortage of teachers.
- Wednesday, August 12, 2020, at 2:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and review a presentation of a new report, Retirement Security and Financial Decision Making, available here. Conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the research finds that nearly half of Americans who retired between 1992 and 2014 did not have the ability to maintain the same spending level for five years following retirement. During the session, attendees heard about the findings, which indicate that certain financial decisions may enhance or diminish retirees’ ability to maintain the same level of spending level. For example, for homeowners, entering retirement without mortgage debt, for those with a pension, choosing a monthly annuity rather than in a lump-sum payout, are positively associated with retirees’ ability to maintain the same spending level for five years.
- Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at 3:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and review a presentation on how institutional investors can capitalize on the yield of alternatives by focusing on the idiosyncratic risks that drive returns. This approach allows investors to stitch together multi-asset portfolios in a more efficient, coherent way. Nathan Shetty with Nuveen discussed why a risk factor-based approach works well for alternative asset classes; how to capitalize on the yield and diversification benefits of alternatives; and how institutional investors can leverage the factor-based approach for multi-asset portfolio construction.
- Wednesday, July 22, 2020, at 2:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and review a presentation by experts from the National Academy of Social Insurance on the importance of social insurance programs to address the current pandemic and recession. The current crisis has exposed weaknesses in protections for working families, and retirement savings often are used to fill gaps in protections. The discussion highlights the role of social insurance in building a stronger society and fairer future.
- Monday, July 20, 2020, at 2:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and review a presentation by experts with Callan on how the environment has changed for the capital markets given COVID-19, and how capital market assumptions may change looking forward. The session also explored how these changes feed through to the investment advice provided on portfolio design and return and risk expectations.
- Wednesday, June 3, 2020, at 11:00 AM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and review a presentation by experts from Baillie Gifford with an update on COVID-19 and learnings from other countries’ responses. The session also provided an update on the current economic situation, the impact on financial markets, and the current investment environment.
- Thursday, May 28, 2020, at 2:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and review a presentation by experts from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. They present and discuss various studies—some reflecting the effect of the pandemic—related to overall household financial stability and retirement security. Who was thriving and struggling before the pandemic? Which families will have economic resilience during the pandemic, and which will not? Are particular demographic groups more at risk than others? What are some paths forward? Participants will also have an opportunity to ask questions and engage with the experts.
- Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at 2:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and review a presentation about progress on state sponsored retirement savings plans in Illinois and California. Many states are setting up these plans to establish retirement accounts for workers without employer plans to improve retirement readiness. During the session, you will learn about progress with the roll-out of these innovative retirement plans and hear about the process for starting a state-wide retirement savings program.
- Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at 12:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and review the presentation by Aon on recent research, The Real Deal: Measuring Retirement Income Adequacy. This research offers insight into the overall retirement readiness of U.S. workers and provides a benchmark for employers as they measure the effectiveness and sufficiency of their programs, an issue that is garnering increased attention during the COVID-19 economic crisis. During the session, we will discussed the resources that are needed to generate a secure retirement and how these targets are changing over time.
- Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 2:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and review the presentation of a session with Ronald Temple, Managing Director and Co-Head of Multi-Asset and Head of US Equity, with Lazard Asset Management. He discussed the economic and market implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. and key issues facing investors as we navigate this unprecedented public health and economic crisis.
- Thursday, April 16, 2020, at 1:00 PM ET | Listen/watch a webinar replay and review the presentation with Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist, and Erick Noensie, Ph.D., senior healtcare analyst, with Northern Trust Asset Management on the coronavirus and market volatility. Market fluctuations are triggering key questions for investors about the progression of coronavirus, portfolio re-balancing, growth considerations, interest rates and market risks.