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Volume 14, Issue 3 - October 2014

Deputy Chief Thornton gives RRC scholars insight into areas of SSA interest

Social Security Administration Deputy Chief of Staff Katherine Thornton provided opening remarks for the 2014 Retirement Research Center meeting at Washington, D.C.’s National Press Club. She thanked the RRC for its strong leadership, which provides an effective voice in policy.

“The RRC is now in its 16th year, truly a testament to the high quality research that you produce and the valuable role the RRC plays in the development of Social Security policy in particular, and retirement policy in general,” Thornton said. She recognized that as pension availability shrinks and more retirees depend on defined contribution retirement accounts such as 401ks for their retirement funds, RRC research becomes increasingly important to policymakers.

Thornton also noted the 40th anniversary of SSI, Acting SSA Commissioner Carolyn Colvin’s reinvigoration of diversity initiatives across the agency, and SSA’s reactivated membership in the International Social Security Association.

Thornton’s address gave some insight into topics of current interest to SSA. She mentioned studies that probe diverse viewpoints and include minority scholars, interdisciplinary studies, and innovations in other countries. Thornton also noted the rise in income inequality and its implications for retirement among lower-income earners.