401(k) matching contributions in company stock: costs and benefits for firms and workers
This paper examines why some employers provide matching contributions to 401(k) plans in company stock and explores the implications of match policy for employee retirement wealth. Unlike stock option grants to non-executives, a firm's decision to match in company stock does not appear to be strongly correlated with cash flow or with measures of the benefits of aligning incentives of employees and employers. Rather, we find evidence that firms are more likely to provide the match in company stock if firm risk is low (i.e. lower stock price volatility and lower bankruptcy risk) and employees are also covered by a defined benefit plan. These findings suggest that firms consider the retirement security of their workers in making the match decision, either because firms want to minimize the risk of violating their fiduciary responsibility or because employees more fully value company stock at companies with lower firm-specific risk. Evidence also indicates that firms may want to match in company stock to boost employee ownership, perhaps to help deter takeovers, or because of the tax advantages for dividends on the company stock match. Simulation results suggest that sufficiently risk-tolerant individuals actually prefer a 401(k) plan at a company with a company stock match to a plan at a company with an unrestricted match, unless the equity premium is reduced substantially.
|Date of creation:||2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.federalreserve.gov/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/fedsorder.html|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Smith, C.W. & Watts, R.L., 1992.
"The Investment Oppotunity set and Corporate Financing, Dividend and Compensation Policies,"
92-02, Rochester, Business - Financial Research and Policy Studies.
- Smith, Clifford Jr. & Watts, Ross L., 1992. "The investment opportunity set and corporate financing, dividend, and compensation policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 263-292, December.
- Edward P. Lazear, 1982.
"Pensions as Severance Pay,"
NBER Working Papers
0944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew A. Samwick & Jonathan Skinner, 2004. "How Will 401(k) Pension Plans Affect Retirement Income?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 329-343, March.
- Nellie Liang & Scott Weisbenner, 2002. "Investor Behavior and the Purchase of Company Stock in 401(k) Plans - The Importance of Plan Design," NBER Working Papers 9131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven, 1983. "Financial Aspects of the United States Pension System," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi83-1, June.
- Julie Agnew & Pierluigi Balduzzi & Annika Sundén, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Trading in a Large 401(k) Plan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 193-215, March.
- Shivdasani, Anil, 1993. "Board composition, ownership structure, and hostile takeovers," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-3), pages 167-198, April.
- Olivier J. Blanchard, 1993. "Movements in the Equity Premium," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 75-138.
- Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-77, December.
- James M. Poterba, 2003. "Employer Stock and 401(k) Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 398-404, May.
- Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Eugene Fama & F. & Kenneth R. French, .
"The Equity Premium.","
CRSP working papers
522, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
- Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987.
"Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives,"
Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-28, March.
- Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Core, John E. & Guay, Wayne R., 2001. "Stock option plans for non-executive employees," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 253-287, August.
- DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda, 1985. "Managerial ownership of voting rights : A study of public corporations with dual classes of common stock," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 33-69, March.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2002.
"For Better or For Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior,"
JCPR Working Papers
256, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2004. "For Better or for Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 81-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2001. "For Better or For Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior," NBER Working Papers 8651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
- Jack L. VanDerhei, 2002. "The Role of Company Stock in 401(k) Plans," Risk Management and Insurance Review, American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 5(1), pages 1-20, 09.
- Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
- Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
- Petersen, Mitchell A, 1992. "Pension Reversions and Worker-Stockholder Wealth Transfers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 1033-56, August.
- James M. Poterba & Joshua Rauh & Steven F. Venti, 2005.
"Utility Evaluation of Risk in Retirement Saving Accounts,"
in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 13-58
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James Poterba & Joshua Rauh & Steven Venti & David Wise, 2003. "Utility Evaluation of Risk in Retirement Saving Accounts," NBER Working Papers 9892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Peter A. Diamond, 1999. "What Stock Market Returns To Expect For The Future?," Issues in Brief ib-2, Center for Retirement Research.
- Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
- Shlomo Benartzi, 2001. "Excessive Extrapolation and the Allocation of 401(k) Accounts to Company Stock," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1747-1764, October.
- Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Beatty, Anne, 1995. "The cash flow and informational effects of employee stock ownership plans," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 211-240, June.
- James M. Poterba, 2004. "Portfolio risk and self-directed retirement saving programmes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages C26-C51, 03.
- Nellie Liang & Scott Weisbenner, 2001. "Who benefits from a bull market? an analysis of employee stock option grants and stock prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-57, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2004-23. 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: (Kris Vajs)
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.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.