Facts About EBRI

The mission of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) is to contribute to, to encourage, and to enhance the development of sound employee benefit programs and sound public policy through objective research and education.

EBRI was founded in 1978 with a declaration of three principles:

  • Employee benefit plans serve an essential function in the United States economy by providing citizens with opportunities to achieve financial security.
  • An ongoing need exists for objective, unbiased information regarding the employee benefit system, so that decisions affecting the system may be made based on verifiable facts.
  • The members of the Institute determined that their common business interests will be furthered by having the Institute develop and disseminate such information. In all its activities the Institute shall function strictly in an objective and unbiased manner and not as an advocate or opponent of any position.

EBRI was founded on four points of purpose:

  • To conduct, and to encourage others to conduct, research relating to employee benefit plans, whether governmental, private, or otherwise.
  • To assemble and disseminate information on employee benefits, by publication or otherwise, to the general public, including interested organizations, both private and governmental.
  • To sponsor lectures, debates, roundtables, forums, and study groups on employee benefit plans.
  • To carry out all such activities as a research and educational organization.


  • EBRI provides credible, reliable, and objective research, data, and analysis. The belief: neither public nor private policy or initiatives, whether institutional or individual, can be successful unless they are founded on sound, objective, relevant, verifiable information.
  • EBRI is funded by membership dues, grants, and contributions. EBRI’s financial base includes a cross section of pension funds; businesses; associations; labor unions; health care providers; insurers; banks; mutual funds; government organizations; and service firms, including actuarial firms, employee benefit consulting firms, law firms, accounting firms, and investment management firms.
  • EBRI does not take advocacy positions on policy proposals, lobby for or against proposals, or recommend specific approaches/prescriptions. EBRI does provide objective data on, and analysis of, the range of identified options in order to provide others the opportunity to make more informed decisions than might otherwise be possible.
  • EBRI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 1978. EBRI’s Education and Research Fund (ERF), which performs the Institute’s charitable, educational, and scientific functions, is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization supported by contributions and grants (it is not a foundation).


  • EBRI’s comprehensive program of research and dissemination covers health, retirement, and related economic security topics. This program includes policy forums, round tables, briefings, testimony, interviews, and speeches. Major studies in process include Social Security reform, individual investment education and results, health insurance coverage, health policy reform, and pension design and investment trends. Major surveys include the annual Retirement Confidence Survey and the Health Confidence Survey.
  • The EBRI Databook on Employee Benefits, and Fundamentals of Employee Benefit Programs are regularly updated as resources. They are augmented by monthly EBRI Issue Brief studies and monthly EBRI Notes (which summarize major data releases, public policy activity, and new studies).
  • EBRI’s Fellows program allows individuals from the private sector, government, foundations, academia, and the media to undertake studies of economic security issues and work with EBRI teams on major projects.
  • Public education initiatives include EBRI’s World Wide Web site (www.ebri.org), and Choose to Save® (www.choosetosave.org).

Dallas L. Salisbury is president and CEO of EBRI and EBRI-ERF. He has been with the organization since Dec. 4, 1978, the day on which it opened the doors of its offices in Washington, DC.


  • William N. Bret, CEO A.S. Hansen, Inc.  (1922-1995) Firm now part of Mercer.
  • John A. Connors, CEO Kwasha Lipton (1928-2005) Firm now part of ACS/Buck.
  • James A. Curtis, CEO Milliman & Robertson, Inc. (1928-2008) Firm now Milliman, Inc.
  • William A. Ferguson, CEO Tillinghast, Nelson & Warren, Inc. (1927-2005) Firm now part of Towers Perrin.
  • Peter E. Friedes, CEO Hewitt Associates, (1943- ) Firm now Hewitt.
  • Kenneth K. Keene, Lead Retirement Partner, Johnson & Higgins (1928- ) Firm is now part of Mercer.
  • Robert D. Paul, Vice Chairman, Martin E. Segal Company (1927-2005) Firm now Segal.
  • Clifford R. Simms, CEO The Wyatt Company (1918-2009 ) Firm now Watson Wyatt.
  • A.J.C. Smith, President, William M. Mercer, Inc. (1937- ) Firm now Mercer.
  • Quentin I. Smith Jr.  CEO Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby, (1927-2011) Firm now Towers Perrin.
  • Joseph J. Stahl II, EVP Actuarial and Retirement, Alexander & Alexander, (1932- ) Firm now part of AON.
  • Douglas D. Stegner, CEO Meidinger, Inc. (1928- ) Firm now part of Mercer.
  • George B. Swick, CEO Buck Consultants, Inc. (1924-2006) Firm now part of ACS/Buck.

For additional information, call EBRI at (202) 659-0670, e-mail info@ebri.org.