Pension Portability and Labour Mobility in the United States. New Evidence from SIPP Data
We explore the role of employer provided pensions on job mobility choices using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation. Defined benefit plans are found to have a significant negative effect on mobility. However, we find no significant evidence that the potential pension portability losses deter job mobility among workers covered by these plans. We also find that the portability policy change implemented by the Tax Reform Act of 1986 had only minor effects on mobility. Puzzlingly, defined contribution plans, although fully portable, are found to have an impact similar to defined benefit plans. Evidence of compensation premiums accruing to workers in pension, union and health insurance covered jobs supports the view that workers are less likely to leave 'good jobs'.
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