Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this book chapter or follow this series

Individual Financial Decisions in Retirement Saving Plans and the Provision of Resources for Retirement

In: Privatizing Social Security

Contents:

Author Info

  • James M. Poterba
  • David A. Wise

Abstract

Proposals for mandatory private saving accounts differ in the degree of investment discretion that they provide to individual savers, and in their provisions for annuitization of accumulated assets. With respect to investment choices, some argue that individuals must be prevented from investing too conservatively, and earning low returns over their accumulation period, while others argue that individuals should be protected from recklessly investing their retirement assets. With respect to annuitization, there is concern that individuals might not choose annuities and would thereby expose themselves to a risk of outliving their assets in a privatized system. This paper draws on the existing experience with 401(k) plans and other defined contribution pension plans to provide evidence on each of these issues. We find that the share of 401(k) plan assets held in corporate equities has increased substantially in recent years. We are only able to provide limited evidence on participant asset management, since many 401(k) plans have limited options in this regard. We do find, however, that a participant's education and income levels are related to asset allocation decisions, with less educated and lower income participants less inclined to invest in equity securities. We also analyze a unique data base on TIAA-CREF participants and find several attributes of annuitization behavior that seem inconsistent with standard behavior in the lifecycle model.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c6254.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

as in new window

This chapter was published in:

  • Martin Feldstein, 1998. "Privatizing Social Security," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld98-1, January.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 6254.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6254

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    Other versions of this item:

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Poterba, James M. & Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1995. "Do 401(k) contributions crowd out other personal saving?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-32, September.
    2. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, Elsevier, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
    3. Laitner, John & Juster, F Thomas, 1996. "New Evidence on Altruism: A Study of TIAA-CREF Retirees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 893-908, September.
    4. Zvi Bodie & Robert C. Merton & William F. Samuelson, 1992. "Labor Supply Flexibility and Portfolio Choice in a Life-Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 3954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Richard P. Hinz & David D. McCarthy & John A. Turner, . "Are Women Conservative Investors? Gender Differences in Participant Directed Pension Investments," Pension Research Council Working Papers 96-17, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    6. Feldstein, Martin, 1996. "The Missing Piece in Policy Analysis: Social Security Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 1-14, May.
    7. Friedman, Benjamin M & Warshawsky, Mark J, 1990. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-54, February.
    8. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti, 1994. "401(k) Plans and Tax-Deferred Saving," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in the Economics of Aging, pages 105-142 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Poterba, James M & Venti, Steven F & Wise, David A, 1994. "Targeted Retirement Saving and the Net Worth of Elderly Americans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 180-85, May.
    10. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1985. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 1682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
    12. Salvador Valdés & Peter Diamond, . "Social Security Reforms in Chile," Documentos de Trabajo, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. 161, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Jack Mintz & Michael Smart, 1998. "Tax-exempt investors and the asset allocation puzzle," Working Papers msmart-98-04, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    2. Charupat, Narat & Milevsky, Moshe A., 2002. "Optimal asset allocation in life annuities: a note," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 199-209, April.
    3. Poterba, James M. & Samwick, Andrew A., 2003. "Taxation and household portfolio composition: US evidence from the 1980s and 1990s," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 5-38, January.
    4. James M. Poterba, 2000. "Stock Market Wealth and Consumption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 99-118, Spring.
    5. J. Ph. & GAUDEMET, 2001. "The purchase of individual life-annuities: a description of the french institutional setting," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE g2001-08, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
    6. Papke, Leslie E., 2004. "Individual financial decisions in retirement saving plans: the role of participant-direction," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 39-61, January.
    7. Srinivas, P.S. & Whitehouse, Edward & Yermo, Juan, 2000. "Regulating private pension funds’ structure, performance and investments: cross-country evidence," MPRA Paper 14753, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Angus S. Deaton & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Social Security and Inequality over the Life Cycle," NBER Chapters, in: The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform, pages 115-148 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Preecha Swasdpeera & I.M. Pandey, 2012. "Determinants of personal saving: a study of salaried individuals in Thailand," Afro-Asian Journal of Finance and Accounting, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(1), pages 34-68.
    10. Stacey H. Chen, 2003. "Risk Aversion and College Attendance," Discussion Papers 03-03, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    11. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2005. "Risiken im Lebenszyklus: Theorie und Evidenz," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 05-05, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    12. Lee Lillard & Robert J. Willis, 2001. "Cognition and Wealth: The Importance of Probabilistic Thinking," Working Papers, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center wp007, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    13. Vittas, Dimitri, 1998. "Regulatory controversies of private pension funds," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1893, The World Bank.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6254. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.