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Are 401(k) Plans Replacing Other Employer-Provided Pensions? Evidence from Panel Data

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  • Leslie E. Papke

Abstract

This paper examines whether sponsors of traditional defined benefit (DB) plans are replacing them with 401(k) or other defined contribution (DC) plans. I compare pension plan offerings by sponsors of a DB plan in 1985 with their offerings in 1992 using Form 5500 filings. I find that 401(k) and other DC plans are substituting for terminated DB plans and that offering a DC plan of any type increases the probability of a DB termination. Thus, it appears that, at the sponsor level, many of the new 401(k) plans are not avenues for net saving but are replacements for the more traditional pension forms.

Suggested Citation

  • Leslie E. Papke, 1999. "Are 401(k) Plans Replacing Other Employer-Provided Pensions? Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 346-368.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:34:y:1999:i:2:p:346-368
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian E. Weller, 2009. "Did Retirees Save Enough to Compensate for the Increase in Individual Risk Exposure?," Working Papers wp206, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    2. Gary V. Engelhardt, 2000. "Have 401(k)s Raised Household Saving? Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 33, McMaster University.
    3. Karen M. Pence, 2002. "401(k)s and household saving: new evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-6, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Hernæs, Erik & Piggott, John & Zhang, Tao & Strøm, Steinar, 2006. "The Determinants of Occupational Pensions," Memorandum 01/2006, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    5. Kandice Kapinos, 2011. "Changes in Firm Pension Policy: Trends Away from Traditional Defined Benefit Plans," Working Papers 11-36, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti, 2004. "The Transition to Personal Accounts and Increasing Retirement Wealth: Macro- and Microevidence," NBER Chapters,in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 17-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jin, Li & Merton, Robert C. & Bodie, Zvi, 2006. "Do a firm's equity returns reflect the risk of its pension plan?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 1-26, July.
    8. Leora Friedberg & Anthony Webb, 2005. "Retirement and the Evolution of Pension Structure," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
    9. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1996. "The Illusory Effects of Saving Incentives on Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 113-138, Fall.
    10. Bassett, William F. & Fleming, Michael J. & Rodrigues, Anthony P., 1998. "How Workers Use 401(K) Plans: The Participation, Contribution, and Withdrawal Decisions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 51(2), pages 263-289, June.
    11. Friedberg Leora & Owyang Michael T & Sinclair Tara M, 2006. "Searching For Better Prospects: Endogenizing Falling Job Tenure and Private Pension Coverage," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-42, August.
    12. Gopi Shah Goda & Colleen Flaherty Manchester, 2013. "Incorporating Employee Heterogeneity into Default Rules for Retirement Plan Selection," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(1), pages 198-235.
    13. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1996. "The Effects of Tax-Based Saving Incentives On Saving and Wealth," NBER Working Papers 5759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale, 2000. "The Effects of 401(k) Plans on Household Wealth: Differences Across Earnings Groups," NBER Working Papers 8032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Andrew A. Samwick & Jonathan Skinner, 1998. "How Will Defined Contribution Pension Plans Affect Retirement Income?," NBER Working Papers 6645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Leora Friedberg & Michael T. Owyang, 2004. "Explaining the evolution of pension structure and job tenure," Working Papers 2002-022, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    17. Kandice Kapinos, 2012. "Changes in Firm Pension Policy: Trends Away from Traditional Defined Benefit Plans," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 91-103, March.
    18. Bela Szemely, 2013. "Explaining the Decline of the U.S. Saving Rate: the Joint Role of Health Expenditure and Employer Contributions," 2013 Meeting Papers 93, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Papke, Leslie E., 2004. "Individual financial decisions in retirement saving plans: the role of participant-direction," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 39-61, January.
    20. Robert L. Clark & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2002. "Strengthening Employment-Based Pensions in Japan," NBER Working Papers 8891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Kazuo Yoshida & Yutaka Horiba, 2012. "Determinants of Defined-Contribution Japanese Corporate Pension Coverage," The Japanese Accounting Review, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, vol. 2, pages 33-47, December.
    22. Leora Freidberg & Michael T. Owyang, 2002. "Not your father's pension plan: the rise of 401K and other defined contribution plans," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan., pages 23-34.
    23. Edward N. Wolff, 2006. "The Adequacy of Retirement Resources among the Soon-to-Retire, 1983-2001," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_472, Levy Economics Institute.
    24. Benjamin, Daniel J., 2003. "Does 401(k) eligibility increase saving?: Evidence from propensity score subclassification," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1259-1290, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents

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