The Alliance for Lifetime Income announced this week that economist Jason Fichtner, a former Social Security official and academic, would become a Senior Fellow and lead the organization’s Retirement Income Institute (RII). He succeeds Seth Harris, who was recently named deputy assistant for labor and economy to President Biden.
In another announcement this week, the Alliance, a non-profit that educates consumers about annuities, and CANNEX, the annuity pricing, data and research firm, said they are joining forces “to conduct new research on protected income planning and annuities,” according to a release.
Fichtner, a senior lecturer at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, helped found the RII in 20xx. In its first year, the Retirement Income Institute published 24 Insights papers and assembled some 200 retirement experts, academics and industry executives at the Alliance’s inaugural series of dialogues.
In his new position, Fichtner will join a leadership team of RII co-chairs:
- Jon Forman, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law
- Leora Friedberg, a professor of economics and public policy at the University of Virginia and its Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
- Barry Stowe, former CEO of Jackson National Life Insurance and member of the board at Zurich Insurance Group
The Alliance’s research partnership combines CANNEX’s industry expertise in supporting the pricing and research needs of financial professionals and financial institutions with the Alliance’s deep knowledge and understanding of consumer behavior and sentiment related to annuities and retirement income planning. The topics this new research will explore include:
• Retirement and protected income planning behaviors and trends
• Perceptions, understanding, and use of annuities in retirement planning
• Importance and value of protection within modern retirement portfolios
• Shifts in retirement planning due to changes in the industry, the pandemic and other recent events
Both organizations have compiled retirement research in the past, including the Alliance’s Protected Lifetime Income study and the CANNEX/Greenwald Guaranteed Lifetime Income study.
Fichtner joined the Johns Hopkins University faculty in 2011 as an adjunct professor. Previously, he was a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He has also taught at Georgetown University and Virginia Tech. In government, he served as senior economist with the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, and an Acting Deputy Commissioner of Social Security, among other roles.
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