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NYC comptroller announces group to study retirement plan for private-sector employees

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Friday identified the members of a retirement security study group who will study ways to provide retirement security to New York City residents who lack retirement plans at work.

“We need to create more retirement savings options, and provide New Yorkers with safe, affordable strategies to plan for their future,” said Mr. Stringer, the fiduciary for the $163.4 billion New York City Retirement Systems, in a news release issued Friday. Mr. Stringer announced in June that he would create the study group.

Scott Evans, the chief investment officer of the city pension system, is chairman. The group will provide up to three retirement savings options by the fall. After that, a separate task force will review the options and make a recommendation for action.

Eric Sumberg, a spokesman for Mr. Stringer, said in an interview that the makeup of the task force and the timetable for action has not been determined. The task force will include “representatives from government, labor, and the policy and non-profit sectors, as well as other relevant parties,” the news release said.

Mr. Sumberg declined to comment when asked whether the recommendations by the study group and any proposal by the task force could be achieved and financed by the city or whether a new retirement security plan would require approval by the state Legislature. He referred to the remarks in the comptroller's news release that said, in part, the recommendations by the study group will “comply with all relevant state and federal laws and protect city residents from liability.”

Members of the study group are:

  • Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist, professor of economic policy analysis and director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School, New York;
  • David Laibson, professor of economics at Harvard University and a specialist in behavioral economics;
  • Olivia Mitchell, professor of insurance/risk management and business/economics policy, and director of the Pension Research Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania;
  • Alicia Munnell, professor of management sciences at Boston College's Carroll School of Management and director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College;
  • Joshua Rauh, professor of finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution; and
  • Stephen Zeldes, professor of economics and finance at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business and chairman of the school's finance and economics division.