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Voluntary Savings, Financial Behavior and Pension Finance Literacy: Evidence from Chile

  • Oscar Landerretche
  • Claudia Martínez

Chileans have limited knowledge of the pension system, its rules and the consequences involved in their personal decisions within it. Using a variation in the household composition- having a pensioner in the household- as an instrument, we show that Chileans with more knowledge about the pension system are more likely to have additional financial savings, but not within the voluntary pension saving plans offered by the pension system. We find that getting one additional answer right in the pension literacy survey (out of six) generates approximately a 50% additional chance that the individual will save at least in one of the surveyed periods, and a 25% percent additional chance that the individual will save in both surveyed periods. We also test for evidence that pension literacy affects worker choices regarding their pension savings (what we call financial gymnastics). We find that more literate workers are more likely to engage in pension fund type switching and that independent workers are more likely to voluntarily enter the pension system as affiliates if they have more pension finance literacy. Getting one additional answer right in the pension literacy survey (out of six) increases in 20% the probability of pension fund type switching and in 30% the probability of voluntary affiliation to the pension system of self- employed workers.

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Paper provided by University of Chile, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number wp328.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:udc:wpaper:wp328
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  1. Alberto Arenas de Mesa & David Bravo & Jere R. Behrman & Olivia S. Mitchell & Petra E. Todd, 2006. "The Chilean Pension Reform Turns 25: Lessons From the Social Protection Survey," NBER Working Papers 12401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2007. "Do better–informed workers make better retirement choices? A test based on the Social Security Statement," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 51, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  3. De Mesa, Alberto Arenas & Bertranou, Fabio, 1997. "Learning from social security reforms: Two different cases, Chile and Argentina," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-348, March.
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