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Where are the retirement savings of self-employed? An analysis of 'unconventional' retirement accounts

Listed author(s):
  • Mauro Mastrogiacomo
  • Rob Alessie

Survey data show that many respondents save for retirement in unconventional retirement accounts, such as investments in real estate. In countries where retirement savings are not mandatory for self-employed, representatives of this group often report this as an argument against making retirement savings compulsory. Our study shows that self-employed retirement savings are low and below individually pre-stated saving intentions, even though this group has generally no occupational pension. We also study the relation between the importance of a broad spectrum of saving motives, such as saving for retirement, and saving behavior. We show that finding the retirement motive important does not directly translate in additional retirement savings, both for self-employed and employees. The (median) annuity stream generated by conventional and unconventional accounts from age 67 is small; most savings are residual and are not being put aside for a specific motive.

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File URL: https://www.dnb.nl/en/binaries/Working%20Paper%20454_tcm47-317454.pdf
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Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 454.

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Date of creation: Jan 2015
Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:454
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  1. Robert-Paul Berben & Kerstin Bernoth & Mauro Mastrogiacomo, 2007. "Households' response to wealth changes: do gins or losses make a difference?," IFC Bulletins chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Proceedings of the IFC Conference on "Measuring the financial position of the household sector", Basel, 30-31 August 2006 - Volume 1, volume 25, pages 145-160 Bank for International Settlements.
  2. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2001. "The Empirical Importance of Precautionary Saving," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 406-412, May.
  3. Lusardi, Annamaria, 1997. "Precautionary saving and subjective earnings variance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 319-326, December.
  4. Mark van Duijn & Maarten Lindeboom & Mauro Mastrogiacomo & M. Lundborg, 2009. "Pension plans and the retirement replacement rates in the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 118, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
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  6. Groenland, E. A. G. & Bloem, J. G. & Kuylen, A. A. A., 1996. "Prototypicality and structure of the saving concept for consumers," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 691-708, December.
  7. Christopher D. Carroll & Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "How Important Is Precautionary Saving?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 410-419, August.
  8. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1797-1855, December.
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  10. Stanislav Kolenikov, 2009. "Confirmatory factor analysis using confa," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(3), pages 329-373, September.
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