TIAA-CREF Announces Sylvester Schieber as 2012 Samuelson Award Winner


The TIAA-CREF Institute today announced Dr. Sylvester J. Schieber as winner of the 17th annual TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security.

Dr. Schieber, a notable retirement expert, was recognized for his book “The Predictable Surprise: The Unraveling of the U.S. Retirement System,” which explores the history of Social Security, pension plans and other retirement plans, and provides suggestions to reform the retirement system.

“The uncertainty of the U.S. retirement system should be a concern for all workers and employers,” Schieber said. “We all play a role in shaping the future of retirement, and I am honored to be recognized. What is lacking is not plenty of suggestions on how to reform America's retirement system, but rather the political will to do so, and I hope that this book helps bring us one step closer to building that political will.”

Dr. Schieber's book provides a comprehensive overview of the history and theory of retirement in America. His work offers both historical context and real, actionable solutions for one of our nation's most daunting problems.

“No one knows this area, in particular employer pensions, better than Syl Schieber,” Samuelson Award judge and Boston College Professor Joseph Quinn said. “His expertise and passion for these issues is apparent throughout this book, which is a must-read.”

“Schieber's work is exemplary in that it offers clear and actionable steps for how we can reform the retirement system to help guide Americans to lifelong financial well-being. It is more important than ever that the research community address the retirement issue and provide tangible solutions,” added Stephanie Bell-Rose, head of the TIAA-CREF Institute.

Samuelson Award Background

The award is named after Nobel Prize winner Paul A. Samuelson in honor of his achievements in the field of economics, as well as for his service as a CREF trustee from 1974-1985. The Samuelson Award is given annually in recognition of an outstanding research publication containing ideas that the public and private sectors can use to maintain and improve America's lifelong financial well-being. A $10,000 prize is awarded to the winner.

The Samuelson Award winner is selected by a panel of distinguished judges composed of TIAA-CREF Institute fellows and previous award winners. This year's panel includes:

  • Julie Agnew, associate professor, College of William and Mary
  • Robert Clark, professor, North Carolina State University
  • Paul Fronstin, director, Health Research & Education Program, Employee Benefit Research Institute
  • Joseph Quinn, professor, Boston College
  • Stephen Zeldes, professor, Columbia University

The TIAA-CREF Institute will present the Samuelson Award today in San Diego during the Allied Social Science Association's annual meeting.

For more information about the TIAA-CREF Institute, which manages the Samuelson Award program, visit the institute's website.

About the TIAA-CREF Institute

The TIAA-CREF Institute helps advance the ways individuals and institutions plan for financial security and organizational effectiveness. The Institute conducts in-depth research, provides access to a network of thought leaders, and enables those we serve to anticipate trends, plan future strategies and maximize opportunities for success.


TIAA-CREF ( is a national financial services organization with $495 billion in assets under management (as of 9/30/2012) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

News Release Addendum

Samuelson Award Winner Bio

Dr. Schieber received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame. He is the former chairman of the Social Security Advisory Board. He has held positions as vice president and U.S. director of benefit consulting at Watson Wyatt Worldwide, research director at the Employee Benefits Research Institute, economic analyst at the Social Security Administration and deputy director at the Office of Policy Analysis. Schieber is also the author of several books, including “Social Security: Perspectives on Preserving the System,” “The Real Deal: The History and Future of Social Security” and “The Economic Implications of Aging Societies: The Costs of Living Happily Ever After,” as well as numerous policy papers and journal articles. He currently is a private consultant on retirement and health issues.


John McCool, 888-200-4062
Ken Luck, 888-200-4062
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Posted In: Press Releases