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Selection of a Joint-and-Survivor Pension

  • K. C. Holden
  • S. Nicholson

Past studies have concluded that Social Security retirement benefits and private pension plan survivor benefits are important sources of income for widows. Using data from the New Beneficiary Surveys of the Social Security Administration, we examine the effect of the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act on the choice of a joint-and-survivor pension, which provides pension benefits to the surviving spouse of a pensioner. We find that ERISA has substantially increased the percentage of widows who receive a survivor pension. We then explore some of the factors associated with choice of a joint-and-survivor pension.

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Paper provided by University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty in its series Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers with number 1175-98.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1175-98
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  1. Michael D. Hurd & David A. Wise, 1989. "The Wealth and Poverty of Widows: Assets Before and After the Husband's Death," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Aging, pages 177-200 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Karen Holden & Richard Burkhauser & Daniel Feaster, 1988. "The timing of falls into poverty after retirement and widowhood," Demography, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 405-414, August.
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