Senior Associate, Research, Retirement Savings
- Job posted by The Pew Charitable Trusts
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and invigorate civic life.
We are an independent nonprofit organization – the sole beneficiary of seven individual trusts established between 1948 and 1979 by two sons and two daughters of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew and his wife, Mary Anderson Pew.
Our work lays the foundation for effective policy solutions by informing and engaging citizens, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause and insisting on tangible results. Our projects encourage efficient, responsive governments – at the local, state, national and international levels – serving the best interests of the people. We partner with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations and concerned citizens who share our interest in fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society.
With offices in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Australia, Brussels and London, and with additional staff in other regions of the United States and around the globe, Pew provides an exciting learning environment and the opportunity to work with highly talented individuals. We are a dynamic, rapidly evolving organization that values creativity and innovative thinking and fosters strong teamwork with mutual respect.
Family Economic Stability Portfolio
The Family Economic Stability Portfolio will assess and, where warranted, promote nonpartisan, evidence-based solutions to improve the financial health of the American family and the safety and transparency of consumer financial markets. The portfolio will explore a number of related issues that focus on families' ability to save for the future, borrow and manage their funds safely and wisely, and move up the economic ladder. Included in this portfolio of work is research that will explore the current financial condition of diverse families and examine the effectiveness of policies designed to spur short-term and retirement savings.
Retirement Savings Project Overview
A significant body of research has documented that many Americans are struggling to build enough personal savings (beyond funds accumulated through Social Security or pensions) to meet basic expenses in retirement. In fact, the gap between what families save and what they will need for retirement is expected to grow over time. With the continuing decline of traditional pensions and planned and potential reductions to Social Security benefits in the future, it is likely that younger Americans will need to rely even more heavily on household savings.
This project will provide rigorous research to inform a series of policy discussions at the state and federal level about how to help families increase their private savings. The focus of this research will be on employer-based retirement programs, such as 401(k) plans, as most families accumulate the bulk of their retirement savings at work. Specifically, the project will provide highly credible, independent, nonpartisan research to address critical questions, including significant factors that prevent employers from offering retirement plans or from implementing plan features that lead to greater savings; how to increase retirement security for contingent and independent workers; the impact of fees on retirement savings; and how leading state and federal proposals to increase retirement savings would affect employers, workers, and taxpayers. The project will also extensively engage influential policy makers, thought leaders, business organizations, and advocates in policy discussions that address these questions and work to identify policy solutions that could assist families in increasing their retirement savings.
The senior associate will be based in Pew's Washington, DC office and will report to the retirement savings project director. This position is part of a small project team that works with Pew's communications, fundraising, and government relations staff as well as external consultants. The successful candidate will become an integral part of the project's team, supporting its research, publications, and public dissemination goals. The position has a set time frame that could be extended based on the success of the program, funding sources, and board decisions on continued support.
Research: Work with the project team and external stakeholders to develop critical research analyses and publications that support the project's goals.
• Provide core research capabilities to the project, including data coding and statistical analysis in the production of original quantitative and qualitative research.
• With the project director and other team members, write and edit project publications, translating complex and technical research findings into clear and compelling narratives for a public and policymaker audience.
• Deliver presentations and briefings to the policy research community, policymakers, industry groups, and advocacy organizations about Pew research and its implications for policy.
• Participate in the planning and organization of new research initiatives, including the development of research plans, data collection instruments and protocols, and analytic frameworks.
• When necessary, identify and interact with potential research contractors, and evaluate external proposals to ensure the production of rigorous research.
• Review and critique research produced for the project and contribute to the development of the project's reports and issue papers. Critically review and fact-check research that is delivered by contractors and other staff.
• Participate in the planning and coordination of meetings with key stakeholders and policy makers, preparing research and presentation materials, agendas, and other documents.
• Contribute to a high level of quality and accuracy in Pew's work by maintaining a constant commitment to accuracy in all work and participating fully in Pew's rigorous internal quality control process.
- Bachelor's degree required. Advanced degree in the social sciences preferred.
- At least four years of applicable experience, preferably conducting quantitative research.
- Candidates with relevant applied policy experience honed at government or nonprofit employers are encouraged to apply.
- Strong analytic and quantitative skills. Rigorous understanding of research processes and methodologies. Proficiency with Stata or similar statistical software package is required.
- Experience in applied policy research and communicating research to a policy-oriented audience is preferred.
- Experience with collecting original quantitative data through surveys or by working with survey vendors is preferred. Knowledge of survey methodology, including questionnaire and sampling design, is a plus.
- Experience with qualitative data collection, such as through focus groups and semi-structured interviews, is a plus.
- Excellent listening, written, and oral communications skills, including an ability to effectively synthesize issues and recommendations. Prior experience presenting at conferences, policy convenings, or events is a plus.
- Knowledge of and interest in economic security, retirement savings, and financial services issues is a plus.
- Strong interpersonal skills are required. Ability to develop and manage productive and collaborative relationships both internally and externally.
- Ability to think strategically and creatively, juggle multiple priorities, adjust to changing circumstances, organize time efficiently, remain attentive to details, and contribute to collaborative workflows.
- Ability to fit into a creative, fast-paced, and highly professional corporate culture which emphasizes excellence, collegiality, and teamwork. Ability also to work both as a member of a team and independently to meet goals.
It is anticipated that the senior associate will undertake some travel, including to policy-oriented events, research conferences and occasional speaking engagements.
We offer a competitive salary and benefit program, including: comprehensive, affordable health care through medical, dental, and vision coverage; financial security with life and disability insurance; opportunities to save using health savings and flexible spending accounts; retirement benefits to help prepare for the future; and work/life benefits to maintain a good balance.
The Pew Charitable Trusts is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Pew considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity, military/veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.
Minimum Education Required