Top Retirement Industry Leaders and Academics Named to Board of Directors at ING's Institute for Retirement Research

June 11, 2008 Windsor, CT Share: Print Subscribe to Email Alerts

The ING Institute for Retirement Research is pleased to announce the addition of eight academic and retirement industry pioneers to its Board of Directors. The ING Institute for Retirement Research is dedicated to exploring the new dynamics of an evolving marketplace for defined contribution plans. ING believes by joining forces with these independent thought leaders, it can achieve its goal of uncovering strategies most likely to motivate savings, and move the needle closer toward retirement readiness.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with such a well-respected team of visionaries who share ING’s commitment to understanding the behaviors preventing many Americans from saving as much as they can,” says Rick Mason, head of Retirement Services Market Segments at ING. Mason, along with Brian Haendiges, head of ING’s Center for Savings Innovation, will serve as Institute co-Chairs.

The ING Institute for Retirement Research has also made the following appointments to its Board:

• Dr. David Laibson, Professor of Economics, Harvard University. Professor Laibson’s research focuses on psychology and economics; he is currently working in the fields of behavioral finance, cognitive decision and cognitive sciences, and macroeconomics. He served as an external peer reviewer for the Department of Labor regulations that accompany the Pension Protection Act.

• Dr. Sheena Iyengar, Professor of Management, Columbia Business School. Professor Iyengar is one of the leading experts on the psychology of choice; her research examines the importance of choice in all aspects of people’s lives, from the seemingly mundane to the most consequential.

• Dr. Alessandro Previtero, Postdoctoral Fellow and member of the Behavioral Decision Making Group at The Anderson School at UCLA. Dr. Previtero is currently conducting research with UCLA Professor Shlomo Benartzi on retirement income, and on helping retirees to hedge longevity risk.

• Dr. Thomas Woodruff, Director, Retirement & Benefit Services Division, State of Connecticut. Dr. Woodruff was also the Executive Director of the President’s Commission on Pension Policy during the Carter administration, a visiting professor at Cornell University, and Executive Director of the foundation-supported Commission on College Retirement.

• Ted Benna, Chief Operating Officer, Malvern Benefits Corporation.* Benna is widely referred to as the “Father of 401(k),” having created and gained IRS approval for the first 401(k) savings plan. He has received many citations for his work in the retirement industry, and is the author of four books.

• Warren Cormier, Co-founder of the Be-Fi Forum, and founder and President of the Boston Research Group*. Cormier is widely recognized as a leading market research provider in the defined contribution industry today.

Charles Ruffel, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Asset International.* Asset International is the parent company of PLANSPONSOR Magazine,, the PLANSPONSOR Institute, and Global Custodian Magazine. Ruffel is an authority on global pension issues. He previously held posts at Institutional Investor and McCann-Erickson.

  • Marcy Supovitz, Principal, Boulay, Donnelly & Supovitz Consulting Group.* Supovitz is recognized industry-wide as an architect of innovative retirement plan strategies, most recently pioneering the Uni-K concept, which became the first IRS-qualified 401(k) plan for owner-only businesses. She is a nationally known speaker on retirement issues.

The addition of these new board members deepens the inroads ING’s Institute for Retirement Research has already made in the area of behavioral finance. It has embarked on several research initiatives, having sponsored cutting-edge work with Harvard, Yale, UCLA and Columbia. “The concept of ‘benchmarking’ is of particular interest to ING, as it explores whether individuals are motivated to improve their retirement savings when they compare themselves to their peers,” explains ING’s Haendiges.

“As a leading provider of workplace savings plans, ING recognizes the challenges many working Americans face in achieving their retirement goals,” Mason added. “Our research can perhaps influence the design of ING’s next generation of retirement investment products.”

(More information about the Board of Directors for the ING Institute for Retirement Research can be found at

Press inquiries

Deborah Pont, Director, External Communications, ING U.S. Wealth Management, 860-580-2678 or

About ING

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 75 million private, corporate and institutional clients in more than 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of about 125,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand. For more information, visit

* Not a member of the ING family of companies.