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2012.05.07 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl- University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@unomaha.edu

Presentation to Focus on the Future of Pension Plans

Omaha - A University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO)-sponsored presentation focused on the future of pension plans, featuring a nationally-known author and researcher, will take place on Friday, May 11. Teresa Ghilarducci, writer of "When I’m Sixty-Four: the Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them," will speak starting at 11:30 a.m. at the Scott Conference Center, 6450 Pine St. Her talk, which includes lunch, is free.

“Teresa Ghilarducci is a terrific speaker, and her topic is a timely one,” said Ken Kriz, a UNO associate professor in the School of Public Administration. “She’s known for being outspoken and her views are part of the national conversation on pension issues.”

Ghilarducci is a labor economist who has researched extensively on retirement security. An economics professor at The New School, she serves as the Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz Chair in economic policy analysis and director of SCEPA, the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, which focuses on economic policy research and outreach. Ghilarducci has advocated for the creation of Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRA) to solve problems many Americans now face in planning for retirement: decreasing coverage and contributions, increasing investment risk, portability, leakage, high fees and the drawdown of benefits in retirement.

Her GRA proposal has met with critical success from high-level opinion leaders. In February 2010, the White House Middle Class Task Force issued a report calling Ghilarducci’s proposal a viable option to help American families save for retirement, irrespective of their financial sophistication, and called for further research on the plan. In July of 2009, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified GRAs as one alternative to overhaul the U.S. retirement system. In 2008, New York Times Magazine named the GRA Plan one of the best ideas of the year.

UNO’s sponsorship of Ghilarducci’s talk is through the College of Public Affairs and Community Services’ Public Pension Plan Initiative. Co-sponsors include the University of Nebraska Foundation and the Great Plains Governmental Finance Officers Association.

After the lunch keynote, a panel discussion, “Defined Contribution Pension Plan Design and Implementation,” is set to take place at 1 p.m. in the UNO College of Public Affairs Building on the university’s Dodge Street Campus. Panelists include Kriz and Olivier Maisondieu-Laforge, a UNO Associate Professor in the Department of Finance, Banking and Law, and Gang Chen, a UNO public policy doctoral student.

Seats to the Ghilarducci luncheon are limited. Anyone who wants to attend should call (402) 444-7151 or email kathleen.hall@douglascounty-ne.gov by Monday, May 7 to make a reservation.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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