John Scott

John Scott

  • Director
  • Retirement Savings,
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts


John Scott directs the retirement savings project at The Pew Charitable Trusts. The project conducts original research and works with experts and policymakers to understand what barriers to retirement savings exist in the United States; how specific policy initiatives might increase retirement savings; and whether strengthening the disclosure of fees can help employers and employees make better decisions about retirement plans.

Before joining Pew, Scott taught and conducted research on public policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a focus on issues related to aging, tax policy, and the policymaking process.  He continues to hold a research associate professorship in UNC’s Department of Public Policy. Scott also has extensive experience in retirement policy, having worked in advocacy on retirement and compensation issues in Washington. He began his career as a tax attorney and consultant in the financial services industry with a focus on pension plan design and legal compliance.

Scott holds a doctorate in sociology from Cornell University, a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Maryland, a law degree from the Pennsylvania State University, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Swarthmore College.

Recent Work

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  • Congress Debates Guidance on State Retirement Savings Efforts

    Congress will soon decide whether to revoke federal guidance for states trying to help private sector workers save for retirement. In mid-February, the House of Representatives approved two resolutions invoking the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block rules adopted in 2016 by the Department of Labor that clarify how states and some large cities can sponsor payroll deduction individual... Read More

  • ‘Secure Choice’ Retirement Savings Plans Could Affect Eligibility for Public Benefits

    More than half of the states are considering or have started to put in place individual retirement accounts that automatically take money from the paychecks of private sector workers to help them save for retirement. Under these state-sponsored “auto-IRAs,” or “Secure Choice” programs, employees without workplace retirement plans are automatically enrolled unless they opt... Read More

  • Retirement Plan Access and Participation Across Generations

    Americans do most of their saving for retirement at their jobs, though many private sector workers lack access to a workplace plan. In addition, many workers whose employers do offer these plans face obstacles to participation, such as more immediate financial needs, other savings priorities such as children’s education or a down payment for a house, or ineligibility. Thus, less than half... Read More

Media Contact

Esther Berg

Officer, Communications