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Worker Knowledge of Pension Provisions

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  • Olivia S. Mitchell

Abstract

This paper evaluates the quality of workers' information regarding pension offerings using both administrative records and worker reports of pension provisions. Missing and misinformation proves to be widespread. Unionized employees, higher income workers and those in large firms, the better educated, and those with greater seniority are better informed about their pensions. There are also demographic differences: nonwhites have less pension knowledge than whites, but women are better informed than men along several pension dimensions. Myopia about pension incentive structures is troubling since workers may save or consume suboptimally, change jobs, or retire earlier than they would have if equipped with better pension information. The prevalence of missing data should also be troubling to empirical pension analysts using data sets reporting workers' assessments of pension provisions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2414.

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Date of creation: Oct 1987
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Publication status: published as Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 6, January 1988, pp. 21-39.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2414

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References

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  1. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1987. "Pension Inequality," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in Pension Economics, pages 341-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & David A. Wise, 1987. "The Incentive Effects of Private Pension Plans," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in Pension Economics, pages 283-340 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Olivia S. Mitchell & Gary S. Fields, 1981. "The Effects of Pensions and Earnings on Retirement: A Review Essay," NBER Working Papers 0772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mellow, Wesley & Sider, Hal, 1983. "Accuracy of Response in Labor Market Surveys: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 331-44, October.
  6. Pozzebon, Silvana & Mitchell, Olivia S, 1989. "Married Women's Retirement Behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 39-53.
  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.
  8. Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1987. "Issues in Pension Economics," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi87-1.
  9. 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.
  10. Gary S. Fields & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1984. "Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262060914, December.
  11. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  12. Duncan, Greg J & Hill, Daniel H, 1985. "An Investigation of the Extent and Consequences of Measurement Error in Labor-Economic Survey Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 508-32, October.
  13. Olivia S. Mitchell & Rebecca A. Luzadis, 1985. "Firm-Level Policy Toward Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 1579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
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