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Post-Retirement Adjustments of Pension Benefits

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Author Info

  • Steven G. Allen
  • Robert L. Clark
  • Daniel A. Sumner

Abstract

This paper examines why pension plans increased their liabflities by giving benefit increases to persons no longer working even though almost al lof them were not required to do so by any legally enforceable contract. In our model workers and firms have implicit contracts under which post-retirement increases in benefits are purchased by workers through lower wages or initial benefits. Such arrangements permit both plans and workersto share the risk of uncertain rates of return. They also allow beneficiaries to invest at a higher net rate of return than they could obtain elsewhere because of tax advantages and, in large plans, economies of scale. We also discuss how post-retirement adjustments can be used to influence turnover. Some empirical implications of the model are tested over a sample of beneficiaries of defined benefit plans. The major empirical findings are:(1) There is strong evidence of compensating differentials in final salary and initial pension benefits for beneficiaries receiving post-retirement adjustments.(2) Regardless of how the size of pension plans is measured(beneficiaries, participants, amount of benefits paid), large pension plans provide larger post-retirement benefit increases.(3) Beneficiaries of collectively bargained plans are more likelyto receive benefit increases and, among those receiving benefit increases, receive larger increases.(4) Benefit increases are larger in percentage terms for those who have been retired the longest and for those with the most years of service.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1364.

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Date of creation: Jun 1984
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Publication status: published as Allen, Steven G. Robert L. Clark and Daniel A. Sumner. "Post-Retirement Adjustments of Pension Benefits," Journal of Human Resources, Vol. XXI, No. 1, (Winter 1986), pp. 118-137.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1364

Note: LS PE
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References

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  1. Martin Feldstein, 1981. "Should Private Pensions Be Indexed?," NBER Working Papers 0787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Barnow, Burt S & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1979. "The Costs of Defined Benefit Pension Plans and Firm Adjustments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 523-40, November.
  3. Richard B. Freeman, 1985. "Unions, Pensions, and Union Pension Funds," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions, Labor, and Individual Choice, pages 89-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Olivia S. Mitchell & Emily S. Andrews, 1981. "Scale economies in private multi-employer pension systems," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(4), pages 522-530, July.
  5. Duncan, Greg J & Holmlund, Bertil, 1983. "Was Adam Smith Right after All? Another Test of the Theory of Compensating Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 366-79, October.
  6. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1980. "Retirement system characteristics and compensating wage differentials in the public sector," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(4), pages 470-483, July.
  7. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark, 1985. "Unions, Pension Wealth, and Age-Compensation Profiles," NBER Working Papers 1677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "Breach of Trust in Hostile Takeovers," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, pages 33-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark, 1987. "Pensions and Firm Performance," NBER Working Papers 2266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1988. "An Analysis Of Pension Benefit Formulas, Pension Wealth And Incentives From Pensions," NBER Working Papers 2535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark, 1985. "Unions, Pension Wealth, and Age-Compensation Profiles," NBER Working Papers 1677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ann McDermed & Robert L. Clark & Steven G. Allen, 1989. "Pension Wealth, Age-Wealth Profiles, and the Distribution of Net Worth," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth, pages 689-736 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alan Gustman & Thomas Steinmeier, 1990. "Pension Portability and Labor Mobility: Evidence From the Survey of Income and Program Participation," NBER Working Papers 3525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark & Ann A. McDermed, 1991. "Pensions, Bonding, and Lifetime Jobs," NBER Working Papers 3688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alan L. Gustman & Olivia S. Mitchell & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1993. "The Role of Pensions in the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Charles Brown, 2010. "Post-Retirement Adjustments in Defined Benefit Pensions," Working Papers wp242, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  10. Rebecca A. Luzadis & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1991. "Explaining Pension Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(4), pages 679-703.
  11. Michael D. Hurd, 1993. "The Effect of Labor Market Rigidities on the Labor Force Behavior of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 4462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1991. "Trends in Pension Benefit Formulas and Retirement Provisions," NBER Working Papers 3744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alan L. Gustman & F. Thomas Juster, 1995. "Income and Wealth of Older American Households: Modeling Issues for Public Policy Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. George A. Akerlof & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Do Deferred Wages Dominate Involuntary Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device?," NBER Working Papers 2025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1994. "Retirement in a Family Context: A Structural Model for Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 4629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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