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Implications of Rising Personal Retirement Saving

In: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging

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  • James M. Poterba
  • Steven F. Venti

Abstract

Retirement saving accounts, particularly employer-provided 401(k) plans rapidly in the last decade. More than forty percent of workers are currently eligible for these" plans, and over seventy percent of eligibles participate in these plans. The substantial and" ongoing accumulation of assets in these plans has the potential to significantly alter the financial" preparations for retirement by future retirees. This paper uses data on current age-specific" patterns of 401(k) participation, in conjunction with Social Security earnings records that provide" detailed information on age-earnings profiles over the lifetime, to project the 401(k) balances of" future retirees. The results, which are illustrated by reference to individuals who were 27 and 37" in 1996, demonstrate the growing importance of 401(k) saving. The projected mean 401(k)" balance at retirement for a current 37 year old is $91,600, assuming that the 401(k) plan assets" are invested half in stocks and half in bonds. For a current 27 year old $125,000. These results support the growing importance of personal saving through retirement" saving accounts in contributing to financial well-being in old age.
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Suggested Citation

  • James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti, 1998. "Implications of Rising Personal Retirement Saving," NBER Chapters,in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 125-172 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:7298
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Daniel M. Garrett, 1996. "The Determinants and Consequences of Financial Education in the Workplace: Evidence from a Survey of Households," NBER Working Papers 5667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Patrick J. Bayer & B. Douglas Bernheim & John Karl Scholz, 2009. "The Effects Of Financial Education In The Workplace: Evidence From A Survey Of Employers," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(4), pages 605-624, October.
    4. Thomas E. MaCurdy & John B. Shoven, 1992. "Stocks, Bonds, and Pension Wealth," NBER Chapters,in: Topics in the Economics of Aging, pages 61-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. James Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2007. "Rise of 401(k) Plans, Lifetime Earnings, and Wealth at Retirement," NBER Working Papers 13091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2010. "The Rise of 401(k) Plans, Lifetime Earnings, and Wealth at Retirement," NBER Chapters,in: Research Findings in the Economics of Aging, pages 271-304 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. James Poterba & Joshua Rauh & Steven Venti & David Wise, 2007. "Defined Contribution Plans, Defined Benefit Plans, and the Accumulation of Retirement Wealth," NBER Chapters,in: Public Policy and Retirement, Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), pages 2062-2086 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Brown, Jeffrey R. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Poterba, James M. & Warshawsky, Mark J., 1999. "Taxing Retirement Income: Nonqualified Annuities and Distributions From Qualified Accounts," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 52(3), pages 563-592, September.
    5. 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.
    6. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti, 2001. "Preretirement Cashouts and Foregone Retirement Saving: Implications for 401(k) Asset Accumulation," NBER Chapters,in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 23-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. James M. Poterba & Joshua Rauh & Steven F. Venti, 2005. "Utility Evaluation of Risk in Retirement Saving Accounts," NBER Chapters,in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 13-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Poterba, James M. & Samwick, Andrew A., 2003. "Taxation and household portfolio composition: US evidence from the 1980s and 1990s," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 5-38, January.
    9. 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.
    10. James M. Poterba & Andrew Samwick, 2001. "Household Portfolio Allocation over the Life Cycle," NBER Chapters,in: Aging Issues in the United States and Japan, pages 65-104 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Seligman, Jason S. & Bose, Rana, 2012. "Learning by doing: Active employer sponsored retirement savings plan participation and household wealth accumulation," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 162-172.
    12. Steven F. Venti & James M. Poterba & David A. Wise, 2000. "Saver Behavior and 401(k) Retirement Wealth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 297-302, May.
    13. Engelhardt, Gary V., 2003. "Reasons for job change and the disposition of pre-retirement lump-sum pension distributions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 333-339, December.
    14. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2001. "Choice, Chance, and Wealth Dispersion at Retirement," NBER Chapters,in: Aging Issues in the United States and Japan, pages 25-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. David A. Wise, 2001. "Introduction to "Themes in the Economics of Aging"," NBER Chapters,in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 1-20 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. 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:

    • 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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