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Do Retirement Savings Increase in Response to Information about Retirement and Expected Pensions?

In: Social Insurance Programs (Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar, TAPES)

Author

Listed:
  • Mathias Dolls
  • Philipp Doerrenberg
  • Andreas Peichl
  • Holger Stichnoth

Abstract

How can retirement savings be increased? We explore a unique policy change in the context of the German pension system to study this question. As of 2005 (with a phase-in period between 2002 and 2004), the German pension administration started to send out annual letters providing detailed and comprehensible information about the pension system and individual expected public pension payments. This reform did not change the level of pensions, but only provided information to individuals about their expected pension payments. Using German tax return data, we exploit an age discontinuity to identify the effect of these letters on the behavior of individuals. We find an increase in tax-deductible private retirement savings and provide evidence that this is not due to a crowding-out of other forms of savings. We also show that labor earnings, i.e. the most direct way to increase public pensions, increase after receiving the letter.
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Suggested Citation

  • Mathias Dolls & Philipp Doerrenberg & Andreas Peichl & Holger Stichnoth, 2016. "Do Retirement Savings Increase in Response to Information about Retirement and Expected Pensions?," NBER Chapters, in: Social Insurance Programs (Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar, TAPES), National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:13811
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cardella, Eric & Kalenkoski, Charlene M. & Parent, Michael, 2018. "Less Is Not More: Information Presentation Complexity and 401(k) Planning Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 11538, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Ingar K. Haaland & Christopher Roth & Johannes Wohlfart, 2020. "Designing Information Provision Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 8406, CESifo.
    3. Haaland, Ingar & Roth, Christopher & Wohlfart. Johannes, 2020. "Designing Information Provision Experiments," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1275, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    4. Nicole Bosch, 2019. "The Incidence of Pension Contributions," CPB Discussion Paper 388, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    5. Westerhout, Ed, 2020. "The Adverse and Beneficial effects of Front-Loaded Pension Contributions," Discussion Paper 2020-016, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. Lindeboom, Maarten & Montizaan, Raymond, 2020. "Disentangling retirement and savings responses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 192(C).
    7. Stefan Bauernschuster & Ramona Rekers, 2019. "Speed Limit Enforcement and Road Safety," CESifo Working Paper Series 8024, CESifo.
    8. Ye, Han, 2018. "The Effect of Pension Subsidies on Retirement Timing of Older Women: Evidence from a Regression Kink Design," IZA Discussion Papers 11831, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Tyrowicz, Joanna, 2020. "Are incentivized old-age savings schemes effective under incomplete rationality?," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224526, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Rauh, Joshua D. & Stefanescu, Irina & Zeldes, Stephen P., 2020. "Cost saving and the freezing of corporate pension plans," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    11. Hoffmann, Arvid O.I. & Plotkina, Daria, 2020. "Why and when does financial information affect retirement planning intentions and which consumers are more likely to act on them?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 411-431.
    12. Christian Dudel & Julian Schmied, 2019. "Pension adequacy standards: an empirical estimation strategy and results for the United States and Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2019-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    13. Arthur Seibold, 2019. "Reference Points for Retirement Behavior: Evidence from German Pension Discontinuities," CESifo Working Paper Series 7799, CESifo.
    14. Claudio Daminato & Massimo Filippini & Fabio Haufler, 2020. "Personalized Digital Information and Tax-favoured Retirement Savings: Quasi-experimental Evidence from Administrative Data," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 20/347, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    15. Andor, Mark Andreas & Gerster, Andreas & Peters, Jörg, 2020. "Information campaigns for residential energy conservation," Ruhr Economic Papers 871, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    16. Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Artur Rutkowski, 2020. "Fiscal incentives to pension savings – are they efficient?," Working Paper series 20-06, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    17. Nicole Bosch, 2019. "The Incidence of Pension Contributions," CPB Discussion Paper 388.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    18. Westerhout, Ed, 2020. "The Adverse and Beneficial effects of Front-Loaded Pension Contributions," Other publications TiSEM 25806b9b-8208-4ae6-b309-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    19. Joshua D. Rauh & Irina Stefanescu & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2020. "Cost Saving and the Freezing of Corporate Pension Plans," NBER Working Papers 27251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Daniele Franco & Pietro Tommasino, 2020. "Lessons From Italy: A Good Pension System Needs an Effective Broader Social Policy Framework," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 55(2), pages 73-81, March.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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