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Are 401(k) Saving Rates Changing? Cohort/Period Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study

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  • Irena Dushi

    (Social Security Administration)

  • Marjorie Honig

    (Hunter College)

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    Abstract

    This research examines the determinants of eligibility and participation in 401(k) plans using two cross-sections of data from the Health and Retirement Study. Our sample consists of workers ages 51-56 representing two cohorts: the original HRS cohort born 1931-41, first interviewed in 1992, and the Early Baby Boomer (EBB) cohort born 1948-53, interviewed in 2004. Participation in 401(k) pensions in the EBB cohort is nearly 50 percent greater than that of the earlier cohort. This substantial growth in 401(k) plan participation over a relatively brief period may reflect intrinsic differences in tastes between the two cohorts, changes over this period in the external environment regarding retirement saving, or the joint effects of both influences.

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    File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp160.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp160.

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    Length: 29 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp160

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    1. James P. Smith, 2004. "Racial and Ethnic Differences in Wealth in the Health and Retirement Study," Labor and Demography 0408011, EconWPA.
    2. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1998. "Effects of Pensions on Saving: Analysis with Data from the Health and Retirement Study," NBER Working Papers 6681, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Daniel M. Garrett, 1996. "The Determinants and Consequences of Financial Education in the Workplace: Evidence from a Survey of Households," NBER Working Papers 5667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. Cunningham, Christopher R. & Engelhardt, Gary V., 2002. "Federal Tax Policy, Employer Matching, and 401(k) Saving: Evidence from HRS W-2 Records," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(3), pages 617-45, September.
    6. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1996. "Do 401(k) Contributions Crowd Out Other Persoanl Saving?," NBER Working Papers 4391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Leslie E. Papke, 1995. "Participation in and Contributions to 401(k) Pension Plans: Evidence om Plan Data," NBER Working Papers 4199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bassett, William F. & Fleming, Michael J. & Rodrigues, Anthony P., 1998. "How Workers Use 401(k) Plans: The Participation, Contribution, and Withdrawal Decisions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 2), pages 263-89, June Cita.
    9. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1999. "What People Don't Know About Their Pensions and Social Security: An Analysis Using Linked Data from the Health and Retirement Study," NBER Working Papers 7368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Papke, Leslie E. & Poterba, James M., 1995. "Survey evidence on employer match rates and employee saving behavior in 401(k) plans," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 313-317, September.
    11. Karen E. Smith & Richard W. Johnson & Leslie A. Muller, 2004. "Deferring Income in Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans: The Dynamics of Participant Contributions," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College 2004-20, Center for Retirement Research.
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