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Selection of a Joint-and-Survivor Pension

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  • K. C. Holden
  • S. Nicholson

Abstract

Past studies have concluded that Social Security retirement benefits and private pension plan survivor benefits are important sources of income for widows. Using data from the New Beneficiary Surveys of the Social Security Administration, we examine the effect of the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act on the choice of a joint-and-survivor pension, which provides pension benefits to the surviving spouse of a pensioner. We find that ERISA has substantially increased the percentage of widows who receive a survivor pension. We then explore some of the factors associated with choice of a joint-and-survivor pension.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty in its series Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers with number 1175-98.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1175-98

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  1. Karen Holden & Richard Burkhauser & Daniel Feaster, 1988. "The timing of falls into poverty after retirement and widowhood," Demography, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 405-414, August.
  2. Michael D. Hurd & David A. Wise, 1989. "The Wealth and Poverty of Widows: Assets Before and After the Husband's Death," NBER Working Papers 2325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2006. "The Importance of Default Options for Retirement Savings Outcomes: Evidence from the United States," NBER Working Papers 12009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. C. D. Zick & K. Holden, . "An Assessment of the Wealth Holdings of Recent Widows," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1188-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  3. Beshears, John & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C., 2008. "How are preferences revealed?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1787-1794, August.
  4. Saku Aura, 2002. "Does the Balance of Power Within a Family Matter? The Case of the Retirement Equity Act," CESifo Working Paper Series 734, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Beshears, John & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C., 2011. "Behavioral economics perspectives on public sector pension plans," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 315-336, April.

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