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Retirement and the Evolution of Pension Structure

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  • Leora Friedberg
  • Anthony Webb

Abstract

Defined benefit pension plans have become considerably less common since the early 1980s, while defined contribution plans have spread. Previous research showed that defined benefit plans, with sharp incentives encouraging retirement after a certain point, contributed to the striking decline in American retirement ages. In this paper we find that the absence of agerelated incentives in defined contribution plans leads workers to retire almost two years later on average, compared to workers with defined benefit plans. Thus, the evolution of pension structure can help explain recent increases in the typical retirement age, after decades of decline.

Suggested Citation

  • Leora Friedberg & Anthony Webb, 2005. "Retirement and the Evolution of Pension Structure," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:40:y:2005:i:2:p281-308
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Leora Friedberg & Anthony Webb, 2005. "Retirement and the Evolution of Pension Structure," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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