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John Jennings
Director, Government & Political Affairs

Paul Richman
Chief Government & Political Affairs Officer

Every spring and summer, legions of people descend upon Washington, D.C. But not all are there to see the cherry blossoms bloom or visit Smithsonian museums. Thousands make the journey to represent scores of industries during what insiders call “fly-in season.”

Why Fly-In?

Industries rely on trade associations like IRI to be their voice before policymakers and present a unified, consensus view on the critical issues affecting their business, workers, and clients. But the ace in the hole for every industry trade group is its membership. IRI members are the experts on the business of the insured retirement industry. They are also on the front lines providing advice about retirement planning and saving and educating consumers about the industry’s products to strengthen and enhance the retirement security of America’s workers and retirees.

That’s why every year, IRI organizes a “fly-in” of our board members who come to Capitol Hill to discuss the most critical industry issues. Congress hears from Washington “insiders” like IRI every day to drive our industry’s issues to the forefront of policymakers’ agendas. But our members are constituents from the states and districts of senators and representatives.

Our members can personalize the policy issues and solutions, localize the potential impact of proposed new laws, and provide necessary data that help to inform and shape policies and viewpoints.

Effective Advocacy Tool

Telling a compelling story is an effective tool when advocating for Congress to act on legislation. IRI starts that process with a constant drumbeat of meetings and interactions on crucial issues with legislators.

Bringing IRI board members to Washington goes the extra mile. IRI member companies are a source of local jobs, an expanded tax base, and engines of economic growth. Most importantly, they can explain through hands-on experience how our industry directly affects the financial well-being of other workers and retirees residing in their states and congressional districts.

It’s no accident that so many groups in Washington bring members to meet legislators. It’s because they are effective. According to a Congressional Management Foundation survey, 98 percent of top congressional staff said in-person meetings between constituents and Members of Congress influence the decision-making process.


When IRI Board Members hike Capitol Hill this week, they’ll discuss some of the significant issues in IRI’s 2023 Retirement Security Blueprint, setting the stage for additional public policy solutions on the heels of our successful advocacy efforts to enact the SECURE Act of 2019 and the Secure 2.0 Act of 2022.

We still have much to do to expand retirement plan coverage to workers and facilitate lifetime income solutions within those plans to help alleviate the risk of outliving retirement savings. But our record shows that we are doggedly persistent. That’s why we deploy our complete toolkit of resources, including our own members, to reinforce our messages with experience and expertise, and that’s why we’re confident that we’ll be successful again.

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