2010 Symposium: Financial Literacy: Implications for Retirement Security and the Financial Marketplace

April 29-30, 2010

About the Conference

This event provoked an energetic discussion between researchers, policymakers, and practitioners on enhanced financial literacy and its relationship to retirement security, the financial marketplace, and how it relates to financial market regulation. The goal of the conference was to inform policymakers, academics, actuaries, plan sponsors, and benefits specialists about what has been learned, and what remains to be done, to take advantage of the ‘teachable moment’ resulting from the financial crisis. Conference attendees included academics, actuaries, plan sponsors, benefits specialists, and policymakers, as well as others. The gathered research is of substantial interest to the Wharton School, inasmuch as this analysis has important implications for the ways in which pension designers, fiduciaries, and policymakers should develop the future framework for financial education and retirement preparedness in public and private pension systems.

This conference was co-hosted by Annamaria Lusardi and Olivia S. Mitchell at The Wharton School.

Conference Agenda

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Introductory Remarks: Olivia S. Mitchell (video available here)

Keynote Speaker: Michelle Greene, US Department of the Treasury (video available here, presentation slides available here)

Session I: Financial Literacy and Financial Decision Making

Discussant: Mike Orszag, Towers Watson

  • Joanne Yoong, RAND Corporation: “Financial Literacy, Ignorance and Stock Market Participation: Evidence from the RAND American Life Panel” (presentation slides available here, paper available here)
  • Robert L. Clark, Melinda Sandler Morrill, and Steve Allen, North Carolina State University: “Pension Plan Distributions: The Importance of Financial Literacy” (presentation slides available here, paper available here)

Discussant: Sarah Holden, Investment Company Institute (presentation slides available here)

Luncheon Speaker: Annamaria Lusardi, Dartmouth College (video available here)

Session II: Evaluating Financial Literacy Interventions

  • Justine Hastings and Eric Chyn, Yale University, and Olivia S. Mitchell, The Wharton School: “Fees, Framing, and Financial Literacy in the Choice of Pension Manager” (presentation slides available here, paper available here)
  • Angela Hung, Noreen Clancy, and Jeff Dominitz, RAND Corporation: “Investor Knowledge and Experience with Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers” (presentation slides available here, paper available here)
  • Susan Carter and Paige Marta Skiba, Vanderbilt University, and Jeremy Tobacman, The Wharton School: “Financial Mistakes and Misperceptions: Credit Cards and Payday Loans” (presentation slides available here, paper available here)

Discussant: Vinesh Prasad, Allianz SE (presentation slides available here)

  • Diana Crossan, Office of the Retirement Commissioner, New Zealand: “How to Improve Financial Literacy: Some Successful Strategies” (presentation slides available here, paper available here)
  • Robert Holzmann, The World Bank: “Bringing Financial Literacy and Education to Low and Medium Income Countries” (presentation slides available here, paper available here)
  • Andre Laboul and Flore-Anne Messy, OECD: “OECD’s Financial Education Project” (presentation slides available here)

Discussant: Deborah O’Neil, AXA Equitable (presentation slides available here)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Session III: Shaping the Financial Literacy Environment

  • J. Michael Collins, University of Wisconsin: “Improving Financial Literacy: The Role of Nonprofit Providers” (presentation slides available here, paper available here)
  • Steve Utkus and Jean Young, The Vanguard Group: “Financial Literacy and 401(k) Loans” (presentation slides available here, paper available here)
  • Julie Agnew and Lisa Szykman, Mason School of Business: “Annuities, Financial Literacy and Information Overload” (presentation slides available here, paper available here)
  • Sumit Agarwal, Douglas Evanoff, and Gene Amromin, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Souphala Chomsisengphet, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Itzhak Ben-David, Fisher College of Business: “Financial Counseling, Financial Literacy, and Household Decision Making” (presentation slides available here, paper available here)

Discussant: Stacy Schaus, PIMCO (presentation slides available here)

Session IV: Roundtable

Chair: Annamaria Lusardi, Dartmouth College; Jason Fichtner, Social Security Administration, James Lockhart, WL Ross & Company, Melissa Moye, Maryland State Treasury