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Why did male pension coverage decline in the 1980s?

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Author Info

  • William E. Even
  • David A. MacPherson

Abstract

This analysis of 1979 and 1988 May Current Population Survey data suggests explanations for why male pension coverage declined during the 1980s, and why the decline was particularly pronounced among young workers. During the 1980s, employment shifted toward jobs with lower pension coverage, and this shift was more pronounced among young workers than among older workers. More important than the reduction in the percentage of workers offered pensions, however, was reduced participation in pension plans. One factor contributing importantly to declining participation rates was the growing share of pensions that were 401 (k) plans; under such plans, participation is more voluntary than it is under other plans, and young workers are more likely than older workers to decline to participate. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 47 (1994)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 439-453

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:47:y:1994:i:3:p:439-453

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Cited by:
  1. Leslie E. Papke, 1992. "Participation in and Contributions to 401(k) Pension Plans: Evidence om Plan Data," NBER Working Papers 4199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kathleen McGarry & Andrew Davenport, 1997. "Pensions and the Distribution of Wealth," NBER Working Papers 6171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Edward N. Wolff, 2011. "Pensions in the 2000s: the Lost Decade?," NBER Working Papers 16991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bela Szemely, 2013. "Explaining the Decline of the U.S. Saving Rate: the Joint Role of Health Expenditure and Employer Contributions," 2013 Meeting Papers 93, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Wolff, Edward N., 2007. "The retirement wealth of the baby boom generation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-40, January.
  6. Alicia H. Munnell & Laura Quinby, 2009. "Pension Coverage and Retirement Security," Issues in Brief ib2009-9-26, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2009.
  7. Garen, John & Berger, Mark & Scott, Frank, 1996. "Pensions, non-discrimination policies, and the employment of older workers," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 417-429.

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