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Do Employer Pension Contributions Reflect Employee Preferences? Evidence from a Retirement Savings Reform in Denmark

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  • Itzik Fadlon
  • Jessica A. Laird
  • Torben Heien Nielsen

Abstract

This paper studies how firms set contributions to employer-provided 401(k)-type pension plans. Using a reform that decreased the subsidy for contributions to capital pension accounts for Danish workers in the top income tax bracket, we provide strong evidence that employers' contributions are based on their employees' savings preferences. We find an immediate decrease in employer contributions to capital accounts, whose magnitude increased in the share of employees directly affected by the reform. This response was large relative to average employee responses within private IRA-type plans and was accompanied by a similar-magnitude shift of employer contributions to annuity accounts.

Suggested Citation

  • Itzik Fadlon & Jessica A. Laird & Torben Heien Nielsen, 2015. "Do Employer Pension Contributions Reflect Employee Preferences? Evidence from a Retirement Savings Reform in Denmark," NBER Working Papers 21665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21665
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Esteban García-Miralles & Jonathan M. Leganza, 2021. "Public Pensions and Private Savings," CEBI working paper series 21-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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