Wharton’s Pension Research Council
Celebrates its 65th Anniversary
Philadelphia, PA – The Pension Research Council is pleased to celebrate its 65th year of research and debate on key policy issues affecting pensions, social security, and other benefit plans. Olivia S. Mitchell, the Council’s Director, is the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor of Insurance/Risk Management and Business Economics/Public Policy at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The PRC is known internationally for its interdisciplinary research on private pension and social security programs as well as related benefit plans in the United States and abroad. Dr. Mitchell has been Executive Director of the Council since 1993.
The PRC was established in 1954 by Dr. Dan McGill to sponsor nonpartisan research on company-sponsored pensions. McGill was a Wharton Professor of Insurance and served as the Council’s first Director. Dr. Canby Balderston, Dean of the Wharton School at the time, noted that the Council was formed to study the growing pension movement, saying:
There has been a tremendous growth in the number and coverage of private pension plans, but there is a deplorable lack of factual information concerning the economic, political and social implications of the movement… [PRC] research will be concentrated in areas which are not the subject of special investigation by other research organizations.
Members of the Pension Research Council Advisory Board are leaders in the benefits field and include executives, attorneys, labor leaders, consultants, public policymakers, and academics, all appointed by the Dean of the Wharton School. The Council’s work is supported by annual contributions from Members, publication revenue, and research grants. Additional funding has been provided by the Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research, and the Ralph H. Blanchard Memorial Endowment established by the Mutual of America Life Insurance Company.
The Council has conducted numerous original research projects in the past 65 years, organized dozens of seminars and workshops, taught generations of students, and published widely under the leadership of Wharton faculty including Professors McGill, Jerry Rosenbloom, Kent Smetters, Jack VanDerhei, and Olivia S. Mitchell. In addition, the PRC takes pride in guiding scholarship on retirement security in the U.S. and abroad. Its members inform government policy with respect to pensions and social security, and they also testify before legislators and regulators in the US and abroad.
The Pension Research Council looks forward to many more productive years, after an exciting and influential first six and a half decades.
About the Wharton School:
Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; over 13,000 participants in executive education programs annually; and a powerful alumni network of 98,000 graduates.