Simplicity + Oversight = Improved Retirement Outcomes

A new study by expert scholars Robert Clark of North Carolina State University and David Richardson of the TIAA-CREF Institute finds that reasonable provider control and oversight of supplemental retirement plans can significantly improve efficiency for sponsors and outcomes for K-12 public school teachers.

Lowering Fees

Requiring financial services providers to be transparent about their transaction fees and other costs is a good thing. One model for structuring public school teacher retirement benefits, the controlled access model, utilizes a competitive bidding process in which potential providers submit proposals that include information on the product and investment menu and all associated costs. A new report from the TIAA-CREF Institute has found that this screening process allows school systems to negotiate lower fee structures and enable more effective oversight of providers, services and products.

Download the white paper now to learn about the new study and how lower fees can increase wealth accumulation for public school employees.

Simplifying Choices

The scale and complexity of savings options within the 403(b) market can be challenging. Like all Americans, K-12 employees vary widely in their financial skills and sometimes struggle to find information to help them make sound investment decisions. A new report from the TIAA-CREF Institute has found that school systems that manage retirement provider options through a controlled access model significantly improve plan clarity and equity of retirement outcomes for public K-12 school teachers.

Download the white paper now to learn about the new study and how simplifying investment options can help ease the burden on plan participants.

Increasing Efficiencies

New 403(b) regulations require administrators to play a larger role in oversight, including fiduciary responsibility, and have caused many to re-evaluate all aspects of plan design and control. A new report from the TIAA-CREF Institute has found that plan sponsors can increase efficiency and ensure effective stewardship, while providing an organization with solid retirement investment options, through a controlled access model of plan management.

Download the white paper now to learn about the new study and how sound plan oversight can improve efficiency and outcomes.

Report Background Information

About The Authors

  • Robert L. Clark is Professor of Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Professor of Economics at North Carolina State University. His research examines retirement decisions; defined benefit and defined contribution plans; government regulation of pensions; and Social Security. Dr. Clark serves on the Advisory Board of the Pension Research Council, and is a Fellow of the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the TIAA-CREF Institute. He earned a M.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from Duke University, and a B.A. from Millsaps College.

  • David P. Richardson is Principal Research Fellow at the TIAA-CREF Institute. His research interests center on public pensions; employer plans; and household financial security, including retirement preparedness, retiree health care and the allocation of risk burdens. Previously, Dr. Richardson held the New York Life Chair in Risk Management and Insurance at Georgia State University and served as Senior Economist for Public Finance at the White House Council of Economic Advisers. He earned a M.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from Boston College, and a B.B.A. from the University of Georgia.

Long-term system stresses and a challenging economic landscape have had a significant impact on the future retirement security of teachers. And with public school systems across the nation facing these pressures, supplemental employer-sponsored retirement plans are proving integral to ensuring that school employees can achieve guaranteed income for life.

But the marketplace has proliferated rapidly and it can be difficult to navigate for school systems and individual educators alike. In particular:

  • New 403(b) regulations require administrators to play a larger role in administrative oversight of plans, in many cases including fiduciary responsibilities. And they have substantial latitude to evaluate and determine all aspects of plan design and management.
  • For their part, school employees are confronting an array of confusing disclosures and fees that can substantially reduce their savings.

Learn More
About Report Findings

You may access information about the new study in several different formats, including: a White Paper, which is an overview of the Report and its key findings; a Report Abstract, which is a brief two-page summary of the Report and its key findings; and the full research Report.

Download the White Paper