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Do you look forward to retirement? Motivational biases in pension decisions

  • Tehila Kogut
  • Momi Dahan

This research examines the relationship between positive and negative perceptions of pensions and motivation to engage in the decision process of choosing a private pension plan, as well as satisfaction from the chosen pension plan, among trained economists. A sample of 134 economists completed a self-report survey examining the decision process of different decision contexts in life, including pension decisions. Overall, participants showed low motivation to engage in the process of choosing a private pension plan, compared to their motivation to engage in other decision tasks. However, economists invested more in the decision process and showed greater satisfaction from their decision regarding their pension plan when they had a more positive perception of pensions. This perception is represented by higher subjective likelihood of receiving pension allowances for a long period, and by a profitable view of the balance between current payments and expected incomes from pension saving. Key words: Pension decisions, subjective perceptions, motivational biases.

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Article provided by Society for Judgment and Decision Making in its journal Judgment and Decision Making.

Volume (Year): 7 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 282-291

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Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:7:y:2012:i:3:p:282-291
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  1. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard Thaler, 2007. "Heuristics and Biases in Retirement Savings Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 81-104, Summer.
  2. James Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Passive Decisions and Potent Defaults," NBER Working Papers 9917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Niklas Karlsson & George Loewenstein & Duane Seppi, 2009. "The ostrich effect: Selective attention to information," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 95-115, April.
  4. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
  5. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1999. "Risk Aversion or Myopia? Choices in Repeated Gambles and Retirement Investments," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(3), pages 364-381, March.
  6. Kempf, Alexander & Ruenzi, Stefan, 2005. "Status quo bias and the number of alternatives: An empirical illustration from the mutual fund industry," CFR Working Papers 05-07, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  7. Chan, Sewin & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2004. "Do changes in pension incentives affect retirement? A longitudinal study of subjective retirement expectations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1307-1333, July.
  8. Hedesstrom, Ted Martin & Svedsater, Henrik & Garling, Tommy, 2007. "Determinants of the use of heuristic choice rules in the Swedish Premium Pension Scheme: An Internet-based survey," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 113-126, January.
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