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Deferring Income in Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans: The Dynamics of Participant Contributions

  • Karen E. Smith

    ()

    (Urban Institute)

  • Richard W. Johnson

    ()

    (Urban Institute)

  • Leslie A. Muller

    ()

    (Social Security Administration)

This paper describes contributions to employer-sponsored retirement accounts, using newly available longitudinal data that combine administrative earnings records with survey data. The results reveal a fair amount of individual variability in contribution rates over time. However, potential negative shocks to income and increases in current consumption needs do not appear to lead workers to curtail their contributions. Instead, workers appear to raise their contribution rates after they have achieved key milestones in the lifecourse, such as the birth of a child or the purchase of a home.

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File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/working-papers/deferring-income-in-employer-sponsored-retirement-plans-the-dynamics-of-participant-contributions/
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Paper provided by Center for Retirement Research in its series Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College with number 2004-20.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:2004-20
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  1. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2002. "Defined Contribution Pensions: Plan Rules, Participant Choices, and the Path of Least Resistance," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 16, pages 67-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Leslie E. Papke, 1992. "Participation in and Contributions to 401(k) Pension Plans: Evidence om Plan Data," NBER Working Papers 4199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Leslie E. Papke & Mitchell Petersen & James M. Poterba, 1993. "Did 401(k) Plans Replace Other Employer Provided Pensions?," NBER Working Papers 4501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jonathan Skinner, 1991. "Individual Retirement Accounts: A Review of the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1987. "Worker Knowledge of Pension Provisions," NBER Working Papers 2414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Johnson, Richard W & Sambamoorthi, Usha & Crystal, Stephen, 2000. "Pension Wealth at Midlife: Comparing Self-Reports with Provider Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 59-83, March.
  7. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2001. "Defined Contribution Pensions: Plan Rules, Participant Decisions, and the Path of Least Resistance," NBER Working Papers 8655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2000. "The Power of Suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) Participation and Savings Behavior," NBER Working Papers 7682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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