The Michigan Retirement and Disability Research Center (MRDRC) serves as a national resource fostering high-quality research, communication, and education related to Social Security, pension, and disability and retirement related policies. The MRDRC is one of four centers funded by the Social Security Administration as part of a consortium whose purpose is to benefit the public through three sets of activities:

  • Conduct research and develop research data
  • Disseminate information on retirement, disability, and SSA-related social policy
  • Train scholars and practitioners

MRDRC meets these goals through its many activities, including research projects, policy briefs and working papers, involvement of young scholars in research activities, and an annual Retirement and Disability Research Consortium conference.  Workshops and round-table discussions are organized throughout the year on specific topics of interest to both researchers and policymakers.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) created the Retirement Research Consortium (RRC) in 1998 and established two centers housed in two separate universities (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and the then MRRC (now MRDRC) at the University of Michigan) and funded both centers through a cooperative agreement with the Social Security Administration. In 2003, the SSA extended funding for an additional five years with one additional center, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Retirement Research Center.

In 2019, the SSA combined retirement and disability research activities into four centers: the MRDRC, NBER, Boston College, and the University of Wisconsin.

Additional information about how MRDRC and the consortium tie into the SSA Office of Policy’s initiatives can be found on the SSA Office of Policy’s home website, which includes its policy and research agenda, information on its partnership with the Retirement Research Consortium, and other related topics.

By creating and continuing to support the Retirement and Disability Research Consortium, the SSA has taken an important step toward stimulating its research capabilities beyond internal staff and providing national leadership on retirement policy issues.