IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Encouraging New Hires to Save for Retirement

Listed author(s):
  • Robert Clark
  • Melinda Sandler Morrill
  • Jennifer Maki

This project examines the impact of employer-provided financial education for newly hired workers on contributions to voluntary retirement savings plans. Using administrative data from five large employers, the researchers assess the impact of information and delivery methods on the choice to participate in the plans and the deferral amount selected. The researchers collected additional data from one employer-partner covering the two years before and after their automatic enrollment policy was implemented. Average participation rates increased sharply, while the same fraction of workers took advantage of the full employer match once eligible. The researchers also conducted a survey of newly hired workers. The survey measured employees’ understanding of their company’s voluntary retirement savings plan, their assessment of the employer-provided information, and their reasons for limited or non-participation. Nonparticipants demonstrated lower overall financial literacy relative to participants, and many respondents felt that the information provided by their employers was not sufficient. Finally, the largest employer-partner, BB&T, implemented a field experiment where an on-line mailing was sent to a random subset of non-participating newly hired workers. Younger workers receiving the flyer were significantly more likely to enroll in the 401(k) plan, while older workers actually had lower initiation rates relative to their control group. The research presented provides insights into the efficacy and importance of financial education provided by employers to newly hired workers and how it impacts their retirement saving decisions.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by RAND Corporation in its series Working Papers with number 892.

in new window

Length: 80 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:892
Contact details of provider: Postal:
1776 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, California 90407-2138

Phone: (310) 393-0411, x7359
Fax: 310-393-4818
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:892. 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: (Benson Wong)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.