Explaining Pension Dynamics
Whether and how the labor market will adapt to anticipated changes in the workforce age distribution depends on how able companies are to induce desired turnover patterns among older and younger employees. This paper contends that companies can and will use pension plan provisions as powerful incentives to induce people to remain on their jobs, and perhaps even more importantly to leave at later ages. A longitudinal file of collectively bargained pension plans gathered by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is examined empirically. We find dramatic increases in benefit levels, reductions in early, normal and deferred retirement ages, and declines in the age at which pension present values peak (with retirement after that age penalized). Several explanations for these observed pension outcomes are evaluated empirically. We believe that these findings indicate how employer-provided pensions can and will play an important role in helping companies induce desired turnover patterns as the workforce ages.
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