Rick Mason’s research leverages analysis of big data, large-scale field experiments, and lab experiments, to understand how consumers make financial decisions online and to apply these insights to help improve their financial well-being.
In addition, Rick serves as Head of the Voya Behavioral Finance Institute for Innovation, where he sets strategy and works with leading academics to conduct experimental research to improve retirement decision making. Voya’s Institute is focused on gaining deeper insights into the behaviors and decisions of Americans regarding their financial and retirement planning decisions. The Institute’s work seeks to test novel concepts that could translate into large scale digital solutions that help people save more and achieve better retirement outcomes.
Previously, Rick served as President of the Small/Mid Corporate and Institutional Investment Markets for Retirement at Voya Financial, responsible for the company’s small and mid-sized 401(k) plan market segments, as well as stable value and the pension risk transfer businesses. During his 33 year tenure with Voya and its predecessor companies, Rick’s career has spanned a number of P&L leadership positions driving business strategy, merger and acquisition activity and integration, distribution growth, and customer experience improvement strategies.
- Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management, United States
- Bachelors of Science (B.S.), Providence College, United States
- Head of Voya Behavioral Finance Institute for Innovation, Voya Financial, Jun 2016 – present
- President, Small/Mid Corporate Markets and Institutional Investment Markets, Voya Financial, 2013 – 2016
- President, ING Institutional Plan Services, LLC, 2009 – 2013
- President, ING Life Insurance and Annuity Company (ILIAC), 2008 – 2009
- President, Head of Institutional Market Segments, ING US Retirement Services, 2007 – 2013
- Senior Vice President, Defined Contribution Produce, Business Development and Strategy, ING US Retirement Services, 2006 – 2007
- Vice President, General Manager, Northeast Region, Aetna Retirement Services, 1997 – 2006
- Americas - North
Title of thesis: Digital Enrollment Architecture and Retirement Savings Decisions: Evidence from the Field
Summary of research
Current research documents to what extent, if any, do non-economic changes to the design and choice architecture of an online enrollment interface have on employee retirement savings decisions.
Large scale field studies include: To what extent, if any, do higher digitally displayed defaults affect retirement savings plan enrollment decisions; To what extent, if any, do changes to non-economic features of a digital interface affect retirement plan enrollment decisions; To what extent, if any, does boosting suggested automatic escalation rates displayed on-line affect retirement savings enrollment decisions.
- Professor Stephen Thomas, Professor of Finance
- Bhargava, S. Carnegie Mellon University.
- Potters, J. Tilburg University.
Working papers (2)
- Bhargava, S., Conell-Price, L., Mason, R. and Benartzi, S. (2018). Save(d) by Design.
- Beshears, J., Benartzi, S., Mason, R.T. and Milkman, K.L. (2017). How Do Consumers Respond When Default Options Push the Envelope?
- Boulder Summer Conference on Consumer Financial Decision-Making. (Conference) Boulder, Colorado, USA (2018). Invited speaker.
Paper: How Do Consumers Respond When Default Options Push the Envelope?
Media appearances (3)
- Personalizing Auto-Enrollment Plans. (2018) WealthManagement.com (website).
- Research with Voya Finds Small Changes to Retirement Enrollment Website Can Drive positive Outcomes. (2018) Life & Health Advisor (website).
- Old-Fashioned retirement advice still works. (2017) The Reuters article was syndicated in the following outlets: U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, The Fiscal Times, Yahoo Finance! and CNBC. (website).