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50 States of Gray

About 50 States of Gray: An Innovative Solution to the Defined Contribution Retirement Crisis
By Arun Muralidhar, PhD
(with a foreword by Robert C. Merton, PhD)

Another retirement crisis is looming as one-third of private-sector, typically poor and unsophisticated workers, probably have little to no pension security. The fifty states have decided to enact reforms, but they are unwilling to assume any liability. Effective reform should ensure a target, guaranteed, inflation/standard-of-living-indexed retirement income through death. The book proposes a four-step reform process that articulates roles, responsibilities, and sequencing of steps to effectively address the looming retirement crisis. Current reform models potentially expose participants to costly, risky, error-prone, and illiquid alternatives, which could transfer wealth from poor citizens to rich asset managers and from short-lived poor and minority citizens to rich and majority populations. Retirement planning presents a wealth of complex challenges associated with saving, investing, and decumulation. To address these challenges, Muralidhar provides an innovative Flex MMM reform model that reflects the goals of numerous stakeholders, including, states, employers, employees, asset managers, and regulators, by showing steps the federal and state governments could take to alleviate the guesswork and insecurity involved in the retirement saving process. Muralidhar also demonstrates that the lynchpin for retirement security globally is an innovative new retirement bond (called SeLFIES ) he has jointly developed with Robert C. Merton that governments could easily issue to achieve multiple goals.

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"I applaud Arun Muralidhar for the timely arrival of Fifty States of Gray, offering us practical innovative solutions for addressing retirement funding, based on the solid foundation of finance principles, which are applicable globally."
--Robert C. Merton, PhD, 1997 Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences recipient

Arun Muralidhar gives an overview of 50 States of Gray: An Innovative Solution to the Defined Contribution Retirement Crisis