The Failure of the 401(k): Reinventing Retirement Savings Plans For a More Secure Future

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 11:30am - 1:30pm

Capitol Visitors Center
SVC 210-212
Washington, DC

Demos, the Economic Policy Institute, the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School, and the Pension Rights Center invite you to an event to discuss how 401(k)-type retirement savings accounts have failed our nation’s workers and families, key principles that should guide sensible reforms to our nation's retirement system, and various proposals under consideration. This event coincides with the release of a new report by Demos on the failures of the 401(k) system and with and an expanded and updated EPI report on Guaranteed Retirement Accounts.


Dr. Teresa Ghilarducci is Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School. Previously, she spent 25 years as a professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame and 10 years as director of the Higgins Labor Research Center at the university. She has written and lectured extensively on pension issues, including the award-winning book Labor's Capital: The Economics and Politics of Employer Pensions. Dr. Ghilarducci’s most recent book, When I'm 64: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them, investigates the effect of pension losses on older Americans. She also serves as a public trustee for the Health Care VEBAs for UAW Retirees of General Motors and for the USW retirees for Goodyear.


Robert Hiltonsmith is a Policy Analyst in the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos. There, he conducts research and analysis on issues surrounding retirement security in the United States, with a particular focus on how these issues affect young people. He has a B.S. in mathematics and philosophy from Guilford College and a M.S. in Economics from the New School for Social Research.

Monique Morrissey is an Economist at the Economic Policy Institute, where she has been since 2006. She previously worked at the AFL-CIO Office of Investment and the Financial Markets Center. Her areas of interest include retirement security, executive compensation, the Federal Reserve, and financial markets. Monique has a Ph.D. in Economics from American University and a B.A. in Political Science and History from Swarthmore College.

Karen Friedman is the Executive Vice President and Policy Director of the Pension Rights Center, the country’s only consumer organization working exclusively to promote and protect the retirement security of workers, retirees and their families. For more than 20 years, Karen has worked to shape and implement public policy, strategies and solutions to improve the nation’s retirement income programs. She provides a uniquely creative voice in finding ways to promote the issues and make them a priority among policymakers and the media. Karen regularly represents the perspective of workers and retirees before congressional committees, in the media, and in speeches across the nation. For seven years Karen coordinated the innovative Conversation on Coverage, shaping common ground solutions to expand pension coverage. She is currently coordinating the activities of Retirement USA, a new campaign for a universal, secure and adequate retirement system on top of Social Security, and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. .

Light snacks will be served. For more information, contact Lucy Mayo at