The Challenge of Retirement in a Defined Contribution World


The last forty years have ushered in a shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans and with that shift, employers have shed market risk and moved it onto workers.  Along with this change come difficult issues, including the ability of middle- and lower-income households to bear that risk, the increased volatility of financial markets, the danger of outliving one’s savings, and senior citizens’ ability to continue managing their portfolios when physical or cognitive problems strike.  In this symposium, economists, legal scholars, government officials and market participants will come together to discuss how to better understand the defined contribution paradigm and how its risks should be managed and regulated. 

8:15     Breakfast

8:45     Welcome to the Law School

9:00     Perspectives on Challenges in Lifecycle Planning for Retirement

Richard L. Kaplan, Peer and Sarah Pedersen Professor, University of Illinois College of Law 

Russell K. Osgood, Visiting Professor, Washington University School of Law, and immediate past President of Grinnell College 

Moderator:  James Kwak, Associate Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law 

10:00   Break

10:15   Employer and Employee Perspectives on Pensions

Kevin Lembo, State Comptroller, State of Connecticut 

Dana M. Muir, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Business Law, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan 

Brishen Rogers, Assistant Professor of Law, Beasley School of Law, Temple University 

Edward A. Zelinsky, Morris and Annie Trachman Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law 

Moderator:  Michael Fischl, Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law 

12:00   Luncheon

12:30   Luncheon Keynote Address

Alicia H. Munnell, Peter F. Drucker Professor of Management Sciences at the Carroll School of Management and Director of the Center for Retirement Research, Boston College 

1:30     Problems With Defined Contribution Plans

Zvi Bodie, Norman and Adele Barron Professor of Management, School of Management, Boston University 

Lawrence A. Frolik, Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law 

David Laibson, Robert I. Goldman Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Harvard University 

Amy Monahan, Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School 

Moderator: Patricia A. McCoy, Connecticut Mutual Professor of Law and Director, Insurance Law Center, University of Connecticut School of Law

3:15     Break

3:30     Related Consumer Issues

Mercer E. Bullard, Jessie D. Puckett, Jr., Lecturer and Associate Professor of Law, University of Mississippi School of Law

Megan Thibos, Mortgage Markets Section, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Moderator:  Dalié Jiménez, Associate Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law