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Participation in and Contributions to 401(k) Pension Plans: Evidence from Plan Data

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  • Leslie E. Papke

Abstract

401(k) plans differ from traditional employer-sponsored pension plans in that employees are permitted to make voluntary pre-tax contributions. Hence, the sensitivity of participation and contributions to plan characteristics-notably the employer matching rate-may play a critical role in retirement saving. Using plan level data from Form 5500s filed annually with the Internal Revenue Service, I find that substantial increases occur when an employer moves from a zero to a small or moderately sized match; but that at higher match rates employee contributions fall.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 30 (1995)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 311-325

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:30:y:1995:i:2:p:311-325

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  1. Edward B. Montgomery & Kathryn Shaw & Mary Ellen Benedict, 1990. "Pensions and Wages: An Hedonic Price Theory Approach," NBER Working Papers 3458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Stephen A. Woodbury, 1990. "Taxes, Fringe Benefits and Faculty," NBER Working Papers 3455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Even, W.E. & Macpherson, D.A., 1991. "Why Did Male Pension Coverage Decline in the 1980s?," Working Papers 1991_08_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  4. Schiller, Bradley R & Weiss, Randall D, 1980. "Pensions and Wages: A Test for Equalizing Differences," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(4), pages 529-38, November.
  5. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1992. "401(k) Plans and Tax-Deferred Saving," NBER Working Papers 4181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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