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Did 401(k) Plans Replace Other Employer Provided Pensions?

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  • Leslie E. Papke
  • Mitchell Petersen
  • James M. Poterba

Abstract

This paper reports the findings from a new survey of firms that provide 401(k) plans for their employees. Our results suggest that few 401(k) plans replaced pre-existing defined benefit pension plans, although a substantial fraction replaced previous defined contribution thrift and profit sharing plans. Our survey results also provide new evidence on patterns of 401(k) participation. We find significant persistence in firm-level participation rates from one year to the next, which supports the view that 401(k) participants are not making marginal decisions of whether or not to contribute to the plan in a given month, or even year, but rather make long-term commitments to participate in these plans.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4501.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4501.

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Date of creation: Oct 1993
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Publication status: published as Advances in the Economics of Aging, David A. Wise, editor. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), pp. 219-236.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4501

Note: AG PE
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  1. Poterba, J.M. & Venti, S.F. & Wise, D.A., 1992. "401(k) Plans and Tax-Deferred Savings," Working papers 92-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. B. Douglas Bernheim & John B. Shoven, 1985. "Pension Funding and Saving," NBER Working Papers 1622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1988. "Pensions in the U.S. Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi88-1, May.
  6. Shefrin, Hersh M & Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "The Behavioral Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 609-43, October.
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