NIRS at a Glance


The National Institute on Retirement Security is a not-for-profit research and education organization established to contribute to informed policymaking by fostering a deep understanding of the value of retirement security to employees, employers, and the economy. NIRS fulfills this mission by conducting national research and education programs. Located in Washington, D.C., the organization has a diverse membership of organizations interested in retirement security issues such as employee benefit plans, state or local agencies that manage retirement plans, trade associations, financial services firms, and other retirement service providers.

NIRS is committed to working with the news media to provide information about retirement security issues.

To request information or an interview, please contact Kelly Kenneally at 202.457.8190 or


NIRS seeks to encourage the development of public policies that enhance retirement security in America. Our vision is one of a retirement system that simultaneously meets the needs of employers, employees, and the public interest. That is, one where:

  • Employers can offer affordable, high quality retirement benefits that help them achieve their human resources goals;
  • Employees can count on a secure source of retirement income that enables them to maintain a decent living standard after a lifetime of work;
  • The public interest is well-served by retirement systems that are managed in ways that promote fiscal responsibility, economic growth, and responsible stewardship of retirement assets.


High-quality research that informs the public debate on retirement policy. Our research program focuses on the role and value of defined benefit pension plans for employers, employees, and the public at large. We also conduct research on policy approaches and other innovative strategies to expand broad based retirement security.

Education programs that disseminate our research findings broadly. We share our research findings with the public, policy makers, and the media by distributing reports, conducting briefings, and participating in conferences and other public forums.

Outreach to partners and key stakeholders. By building partnerships with other experts in the field of retirement research and with stakeholders that support retirement security, we leverage the impact of our research and education efforts. Our outreach activities also improve the capacity of government agencies, non-profits, the private sector, and others working to promote and expand retirement security.


In January 2011, Diane Oakley was named executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security. With the Board of Directors, Oakley leads the organization’s strategic planning, research and education initiatives.

Before joining NIRS, Ms. Oakley served as senior policy advisor to Congressman Earl Pomeroy, who represented the state of North Dakota. There she worked in a bi-partisan fashion with diverse groups to achieve policy solutions. Oakley played a key staff role in formulating legislative strategy on a range of tax, pension, Social Security, financial services and workforce issues. Prior to her service on Capitol Hill, Ms. Oakley held leadership positions during with TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services provider. During her 28 year tenure with the organization, she held a number of management, public policy, and technical positions. She began as an actuary and was promoted to positions including vice president for special consulting services and vice president for associations and government relations. She holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Fairfield University, where she graduated Cum Luade. She earned an M.B.A., in Finance from at Fordham University. She has held Series 6, Series 26 and Series 63 registrations with the NASD, and also is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.