IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Employee Mobility and Employer-Provided Retirement Plans


  • Gopi Shah Goda
  • Damon Jones
  • Colleen Flaherty Manchester


This paper provides new insights into the effect of the widespread transition from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC) pension plans on employee mobility. Pension plans may affect employee mobility both through an “incentive effect,” where the bundle of benefit characteristics, such as vesting rules, relative liquidity and the risk/return tradeoff affect turnover directly, and a “selection effect,” where employees with different underlying mobility tendencies select into firms with different types of pension plans. In this paper, we quantify the role of selection by exploiting a natural experiment at a single employer in which an employee’s probability of transitioning from a DB to a DC plan was exogenously affected by the default provisions of the transition. Using a differences-in-regression-discontinuities (DRD) estimator, we find evidence that employees with higher mobility tendencies self-select into the DC plan. Furthermore, we find a negative direct effect of DC enrollment on turnover that takes place within one year. Our results suggest that selection likely contributes to an observed positive relationship between the transition from DB to DC plans and employee mobility in settings where employees choose plans or employers.

Suggested Citation

  • Gopi Shah Goda & Damon Jones & Colleen Flaherty Manchester, 2012. "Employee Mobility and Employer-Provided Retirement Plans," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2012-28, Center for Retirement Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2012-28

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ashok Thomas & Luca Spataro, 2013. "Pension funds and Market Efficiency: A review," Discussion Papers 2013/164, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2012-28. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Amy Grzybowski) or (Christopher F Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.