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Bridging the Gap in Pension Participation: How Much Can Universal Tax-Deferred Pension Coverage Hope to Achieve?

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Author Info

  • Karamcheva, Nadia

    ()
    (Urban Institute)

  • Sanzenbacher, Geoffrey

    ()
    (Boston College)

Abstract

In light of the declining pension coverage of low-income workers, policy makers have discussed requiring all employers to offer individual retirement accounts, similar to defined contribution plans. How likely to participate are workers who currently do not have access to a pension plan? We address this question by using plausibly exogenous variation in pension-plan availability to estimate the determinants of participation in a standard selection on unobservables model. We find that currently uncovered low-income workers are fairly likely to participate in a newly offered plan, yet they are much less likely to do so than currently covered workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7518.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7518

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Keywords: private pensions; participation; self-selection; policy effects;

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References

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  1. Gary V. Engelhardt & Anil Kumar, 2004. "Employer Matching and 401(k) Saving: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College 2004-18, Center for Retirement Research.
  2. Gur Huberman & Sheena Iyengar & Wei Jiang, 2007. "Defined Contribution Pension Plans: Determinants of Participation and Contributions Rates," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 1-32, February.
  3. William F. Bassett & Michael J. Fleming & Anthony P. Rodrigues, 1998. "How workers use 401(k) plans: the participation, contribution, and withdrawal decisions," Staff Reports 38, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. April Yanyuan Wu & Nadia S. Karamcheva & Alicia H. Munnell & Patrick Purcell, 2013. "How Do the Changing Labor Supply Behavior and Marriage Patterns of Women Affect Social Security Replacement Rates?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2013-16, Center for Retirement Research.
  5. Barbara A. Butrica & Nadia Karamcheva, 2012. "Automatic Enrollment, Employee Compensation, and Retirement Security," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2012-25, Center for Retirement Research.
  6. Nadia Karamcheva & Geoffrey Sanzenbacher, 2010. "Is Pension Inequality Growing?," Issues in Brief ib2009-10-1, Center for Retirement Research, revised Jan 2010.
  7. Alicia H. Munnell & Francesca Golub-Sass & Dan Muldoon, 2009. "An Update on 401(k) Plans: Insights From the 2007 SCF," Issues in Brief ib2009-9-5, Center for Retirement Research, revised Mar 2009.
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