Wharton Professor Kent Smetters Wins the TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security

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KENT SMETTERS_HighThe TIAA Institute today announced that Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy Kent Smetters of the Wharton School and Felix Reichling of the Congressional Budget Office have won the 21st annual TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security. The Samuelson Award recognizes outstanding research that the private and public sectors can use to maintain and enhance Americans’ financial well-being.The researchers were awarded for their paper, “Optimal Annuitization with Stochastic Mortality and Correlated Medical Costs,” which examined how households looking to optimize their lifelong financial well-being should factor in potential health events.

“We are honored to receive this year’s Samuelson Award and to be in the company of the past winners and their groundbreaking research on financial security and retirement planning,” said Samuelson Award winners Felix Reichling and Kent Smetters. “We hope that our work will help to ensure that Americans make sound decisions with their retirement savings and we thank the TIAA Institute for this great recognition.””I want to congratulate Felix Reichling and Kent Smetters on compiling an outstanding piece of research and data that will help Americans plan for retirement,” said Stephanie Bell-Rose, Senior Managing Director and Head of TIAA Institute. “This thorough analysis will be a useful tool for financial advisors and other stakeholders in helping their clients pick the best option for lifelong financial security. We believe that lifetime income products, like annuities, are essential for many individuals to achieve a financially secure retirement.”

“This paper addresses what factors influence households’ decisions to annuitize, a topic that is extremely important for lifelong financial well-being,” said Gopi Shah Goda of Stanford University, one of this year’s Samuelson Award judges. “One of many things the paper makes clear is that incomplete markets to insure against disability and long-term care expenditure risk can influence annuity markets. I expect the findings will help shape product innovation that will ultimately improve financial security for many and I’m thrilled this paper was chosen to win the TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award this year.”

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