The Catholic University of America

Regina T. Jefferson

Regina T. Jefferson is a nationally recognized authority on pension law, employee benefits, and tax law. In addition to teaching and producing a rich body of scholarship in these areas, she has been actively involved in the policy development of these fields. She has testified before Congress and briefed Congressional staff on employee benefits and tax topics. Dean Jefferson also was a delegate to the First White House Summit on Retirement Income Savings. In 2015, she was appointed by the President of the United States to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's Advisory Committee for a three year term. She also currently serves as an expert on taxation to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations.

Dean Jefferson joined the CUA faculty in 1992. She served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 2000 and 2001. Prior to joining the faculty, she was a Tax Law Specialist at the National Office of the Internal Revenue Service in the Employee Plans Division, where she specialized in qualified employee plans. From 1990 through 1992, she was a teaching fellow in the Graduate Teaching Program for Future Law Professors at Georgetown University, where her research and teaching focused on the tax aspects of private pension plans. Before attending law school, Dean Jefferson worked in the pension actuarial field.
Dean Jefferson’s scholarship focuses primarily on employee benefits and tax law. She has written extensively on the re-distributional impact of the private retirement system, the confluence of pension and tax law, the tax and actuarial aspects of the funding limitations of defined benefit plans, and the risks of defined contribution plans.
Dean Jefferson was selected as a Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. She is a member of the Pension Rights Center Board of Directors and the Institute on Retirement Security Academic Advisory Board. She also is a former chair of the Employee Benefit Section of the Association of American Law Schools. 
Dean Jefferson earned a B.S. degree in mathematics from Howard University, a J.D. degree from George Washington University, and an LL.M. degree from Georgetown University. 


Research and Writing


Defined Benefit Plan Funding: How Much is Too Much?, 44 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 1 (1993).
The Earned Income Tax Credit: Thou Goest Whither? A Critique of Existing Proposals to Reform the Earned Income Tax Credit, 68 Temple Law Review 143 (1995).
Restructuring the Earned Income Tax Credit: A Response to Reform Proposals, 68 Tax Notes 1489 (1995); 95 State Tax Notes 168-34 (1995).
The American Dream Savings Account: A Dream or a Nightmare?, in Taxing America (M.L. Fellows and K. Brown, eds., N.Y.U. Press, 1996).
A Farewell to Pension Policy: The Impact of Flexible IRAs on Current Tax Policy 69 Temple Law Review 1451 (1996).
Defined Contribution Plans: Risky Business for Plan Participants, A Questionable Model for Social Security, Framing The Social Security Debate, (Brookings Institute, ed., 1998).
MSAs: Windfalls for the Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise, 48 Catholic Law Review 685 (1999).
Rethinking the Risks of Defined Contribution Plans, 4 florida Tax Review 607 (2000).
Striking the Balance In Cash Balance Plans, 49 Buffalo Law Review 513 (2001).
Social Security Reform: Impacts and Consequences 58 Washington & Lee Law Review 1287  (Fall 2001).
Retirement Security and Defined Contribution Plans: Hearing Before the Committee on Ways and Means House of Representatives, 107th Congress 77-84 (2002) (Testimony).
Post Enron Pension Reform: Where Do We Go From Here?, New York University Review of Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation §10 (2003).
The Tax Treatment of Employer-Provided Meals and Lodging, in LexisNexis Matthew Bender Publication (2005).
Redistribution in the Private Retirement System: Who Wins and Who Loses?, 53 Howard University Law Review 283 (2010).
Balancing Greater Protection and Individual Choice in 401(k) Plans, in beyond economic efficiency and tax law (K. Brown and D. Brennen, eds.,) ( forthcoming 2013).
Increasing Coverage in Today's Private Retirement System, 6 Drexel University Law Review 463 (2014).
"Let Them Eat Cake": Examining United States Retirement Savings Policy Through the Lens of International Human Rights Principles 31 Harvard Human Rights Journal (forthcoming).


In Her Words ...

“True justice is not derived exclusively from court decisions, statutes, and law books, but also from an understanding and respect for different perspectives, objectives, and values. Thus, my goal as a law professor is not only to ensure that students acquire knowledge of the black letter law but also to help them develop a sincere appreciation for competing points of view and interests.”

– Regina T. Jefferson



Office: 337 Law School
The Catholic University of America
3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-5025



  • ERISA: Pensions (Tax Policy)
  • Federal Income Taxation
  • Partnership Tax


Georgetown University

George Washington University

Howard University


Areas of Expertise

  • Pension Law
  • Employee Benefits
  • Tax Law


  • Tax Law Specialist, Internal Revenue Service, Employee Plans Division
  • Delegate to the First White House Summit on Retirement Income Savings
  • Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits and the National Academy of Social Insurance; Member, Pension Rights Center Board of Directors