Pew’s retirement savings project examines the challenges and opportunities of efforts to help private sector workers in the United States save for retirement. The project strives to foster policy discussion at the state and federal levels to ensure that everyone has opportunities to set aside money for retirement. The team’s work explores three main research areas:
- Barriers to saving. Businesses, particularly small to midsize ones, face obstacles in establishing savings plans for employees, while workers often have difficulty accumulating and maintaining retirement savings.
- Policy proposals. Stakeholders and policymakers looking to address the significant shortfall in American workers’ retirement savings have proposed a range of reforms at the federal and state levels.
- Retirement fees. The fees associated with retirement savings plans, which include investment and administrative costs, can reduce Americans’ retirement savings. Pew examines the effect of fees on long-term savings as well as the impact of fee disclosures on investor choices.
Meet the team
John Scott directs Pew’s research on barriers to retirement savings, retirement policy initiatives, and the disclosure of retirement plan fees.
Senior research officer
Alison Shelton is a senior research officer on Pew’s retirement savings team. She has written and spoken extensively about retirement security, Social Security, and unemployment. Shelton has authored or co-authored numerous papers on aspects of America’s retirement system, the Social Security program, and proposals for reform. She also has modeled the impact of various proposals.
Before joining Pew, Shelton worked at AARP’s Public Policy Institute, the Congressional Research Service, and the U.S. Treasury Department, where at one point she served as special assistant to the undersecretary for domestic finance. She has a master’s degree in public policy from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in history from Smith College.
Senior policy associate
Andrew Blevins is a senior associate for policy with Pew’s retirement savings project. He provides research and analysis on barriers to retirement savings, retirement policy proposals, and retirement plan fees to policymakers, regulators, and other stakeholders at the state and federal levels. Earlier, Blevins worked with Pew’s consumer banking project researching the accounts that Americans rely on to manage their daily finances. Before joining Pew, he conducted research at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago with a focus on community development. Blevins holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and neuroscience from Lawrence University.
Senior research associate
Theron Guzoto is a senior research associate with Pew’s retirement savings project. He investigates the barriers to saving for retirement, the implications of current state and federal policy proposals for increasing saving, and the impact of retirement plan fee disclosures. Before joining Pew, Guzoto was a policy fellow at the Center for Community Change, conducting research and analyses on the Social Security program. He has researched political economy and governance at Georgetown University. Guzoto holds a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy and a bachelor’s degree in politics, philosophy, and economics from Western Washington University.
Senior research associate
Sarah Spell is a senior research associate with Pew’s retirement savings project. She uses surveys, focus groups, and administrative data to explore the barriers to and motivations for saving for retirement, as well as attitudes toward retirement policy proposals, retirement plan fees, and participation in retirement savings programs. Before joining Pew, Spell researched postsecondary and K-12 education policy at MDRC, a nonprofit education and social policy research organization. Spell received a doctorate in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology from the University of Illinois, Chicago.