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Nudging Retirement Savings: A Field Experiment on Supplemental Plans

Author

Listed:
  • Robert L. Clark
  • Robert G. Hammond
  • Melinda Sandler Morrill
  • Christelle Khalaf

Abstract

Although supplemental saving plans can be an important part of an individual's financial security in retirement, contribution rates remain low, particularly among those with lower salaries and less education. We report findings from a field experiment that distributed an informational nudge containing information on key aspects of the employer-provided supplemental saving plans of older public employees in North Carolina. Among workers participating in a supplemental plan, individuals who received an informational nudge increased their contributions in the months following the intervention relative to the control group. Moreover, those that received the nudge reported in a subsequent survey that they were more likely to have developed a retirement plan and report more confidence in their retirement preparedness. In contrast, individuals who were not enrolled in a retirement saving plan were not moved to begin contributing to a supplemental plan.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert L. Clark & Robert G. Hammond & Melinda Sandler Morrill & Christelle Khalaf, 2017. "Nudging Retirement Savings: A Field Experiment on Supplemental Plans," NBER Working Papers 23679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23679
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Robert L. Clark & Jennifer A. Maki & Melinda Sandler Morrill, 2014. "Can Simple Informational Nudges Increase Employee Participation in a 401(k) Plan?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 677-701, January.
    4. Samuel Marshall & Kathleen McGarry & Jonathan S. Skinner, 2011. "The Risk of Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenditure at the End of Life," NBER Chapters,in: Explorations in the Economics of Aging, pages 101-128 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:5:p:456-61 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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