Economist Teresa Ghilarducci and Blackstone President Tony James Publish Comprehensive Plan to Confront Retirement Savings Crisis

Plan Guarantees Millions of Americans Safe and Secure Retirements

Proposal for Guaranteed Retirement Accounts Works within Existing

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Economist Teresa Ghilarducci, one of the nation’s leading experts on
retirement security, and Blackstone President Hamilton “Tony” James
today published their co-authored white paper, “A
Comprehensive Plan to Confront the Retirement Savings Crisis,”
outlines a deficit-neutral proposal to ensure that all workers can save
enough to retire through mandated, individually-owned, and
effectively-invested Guaranteed Retirement Accounts. Left unaddressed,
the authors emphasize, the strain of a newly poor population of senior
citizens would devastate federal, state, and local budgets for decades
to come.

Key components of the plan include:

  • Universal coverage: Every American worker would have their own
    Guaranteed Retirement Account, ensuring consistent retirement savings
    throughout their career.
  • Individually owned, effectively invested: Unlike Social
    Security, workers maintain ownership over their assets through
    transparent individual accounts. As with traditional pension plans,
    their assets will be pooled and invested in long-term, low-fee
    strategies that generate higher returns than current 401(k) plans.
  • Deficit-neutral and costless for families at or below median income:
    The plan redeploys current tax subsidies more evenly across the income
    distribution, and creates efficiencies by using existing Federal
    infrastructure, avoiding a negative impact on the budget.
  • Guaranteed lifetime income: Upon retiring, savings will be
    returned through annuitized payments distributed through existing
    Social Security infrastructure, guaranteeing a continuous standard of
    living as long as retirees live.
  • Bipartisan appeal: This model keeps accounts under individuals’
    control, distributing savings based on the amount invested, not based
    on income, and without impacting the budget or raising taxes.

“Our retirement system is broken – if we do not take action, America
will face rates of poverty among senior citizens not seen since the
Great Depression,” said Teresa Ghilarducci, the Bernard L. and Irene
Schwartz Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research
and the Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis and
the New School’s Retirement Equity Lab. “Our Retirement Savings Plan is
a pragmatic solution that includes no new taxes, will not increase the
deficit, and intelligently integrates into existing infrastructure to
address this massive issue that cuts across all demographics.”

“Thirty years of investment experience has demonstrated to me time and
again the benefits of long-term thinking. Nowhere is this approach more
needed than in response to the looming retirement savings crisis,” said
Hamilton “Tony” James, President and Chief Operating Officer at
Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms. “If the country
acts now, we can solve this problem, and solve it relatively painlessly
for everyone. Our plan is a simple, sustainable, low-cost and
politically viable proposal to enable workers to save and invest more
effectively to secure their retirement.”

The publication of this white paper follows the authors’ January 2016 New
York Times
op-ed, “A Smarter Plan to Make Retirement Savings Last,”
in which they wrote, “Our plan would guarantee millions of Americans
safe and secure retirements that would benefit them, their families, and
the nation’s economy.”

The white paper, “A Comprehensive Plan to Confront the Retirement
Savings Crisis,” is available
on the website of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis
where Dr. Ghilarducci serves as Director.

About the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New

Founded in 1995 by the influential political economist David Gordon,
SCEPA is the economic policy research arm of the department of economics
at The New School for Social Research. Made possible through a generous
gift from Irene and Bernard L. Schwartz, SCEPA is distinct from other
economic think tanks by its location within The New School. In the heart
of New York City, both the university and center are part of a network
of leaders dedicated to progressive and innovative education and ideas.


For Dr. Ghilarducci:
Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis,
The New School
Bridget Fisher, 212-229-5901 ext. 1
Mr. James:
Christine Anderson, +1-212-583-5182