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Why Did Male Pension Coverage Decline in the 1980s?

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  • Even, W.E.
  • Macpherson, D.A.

Abstract

This analysis of 1979 and 1988 May Current Population Survey data suggests explanations for why male pension coverage declined during the 1980s, and why the decline was particularly pronounced among young workers. During the 1980s, employment shifted toward jobs with lower pension coverage, and this shift was more pronounced among young workers than among older workers. More important than the reduction in the percentage of workers offered pensions, however, was reduced participation in pension plans. One factor contributing importantly to declining participation rates was the growing share of pensions that were 401 (k) plans; under such plans, participation is more voluntary than it is under other plans, and young workers are more likely than older workers to decline to participate.
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Suggested Citation

  • Even, W.E. & Macpherson, D.A., 1991. "Why Did Male Pension Coverage Decline in the 1980s?," Working Papers 1991_08_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:fsu:wpaper:1991_08_01
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    Cited by:

    1. Edward N. Wolff, 2011. "Pensions in the 2000s: the Lost Decade?," NBER Working Papers 16991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Leslie E. Papke, 1995. "Participation in and Contributions to 401(k) Pension Plans: Evidence from Plan Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 311-325.
    3. Garen, John & Berger, Mark & Scott, Frank, 1996. "Pensions, non-discrimination policies, and the employment of older workers," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 417-429.
    4. Kathleen M. McGarry & Andrew Davenport, 1998. "Pensions and the Distribution of Wealth," NBER Chapters,in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 463-486 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Edward N. Wolff, 2015. "U.S. Pensions in the 2000s: The Lost Decade?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(4), pages 599-629, December.
    6. Thomas L. Hungerford, 2003. "U.S. Workers' Investment Decisions for Participant-Directed Defined Contribution Pension Assets," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_375, Levy Economics Institute.
    7. Bela Szemely, 2013. "Explaining the Decline of the U.S. Saving Rate: the Joint Role of Health Expenditure and Employer Contributions," 2013 Meeting Papers 93, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Teresa Ghilarducci & Joelle Saad-Lessler, 2014. "Explaining the Decline in the Offer Rate of Employer Retirement Plans Between 2001-2012," SCEPA working paper series. SCEPA's main areas of research are macroeconomic policy, inequality and poverty, and globalization. 2014-2, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School.
    9. Alicia H. Munnell & Laura Quinby, 2009. "Pension Coverage and Retirement Security," Issues in Brief ib2009-9-26, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2009.
    10. Di Gialleonardo, Luca & Marè, Mauro & Motroni, Antonello & Porcelli, Francesco, 2016. "The impact of financial crisis on savings decisions: evidences from Italian pension funds," MPRA Paper 76066, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2016.

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    Keywords

    pension funds;

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