The Downside of Defaults

Jeffrey R. Brown, Anne M. Farrell, Scott J. Weisbenner

NBER Retirement Research Center Paper No. NB 12-05
Issued in December 2012

---- Acknowledgements ----

This research was supported by the U.S. Social Security Administration through grants #5RRC08098400-04-00 and RRC08098400-03-00 to the National Bureau of Economic Research as part of the SSA Retirement Research Consortium. The findings and conclusions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent the views of SSA, any agency of the Federal Government, or the NBER. This paper is a substantial extension and revision of the earlier project that used a 2007 survey of SURS participants. This research would not have been possible without the expert, enthusiastic assistance of the State Universities Retirement System staff, especially Bill Mabe, Pam Butler, Tracy Childress, and Byron Campbell. We thank Susan Anderson for cheerful and expert assistance in programming the survey instrument and Lisa Marinelli for her exceptional assistance guiding this project through the Institutional Review Board process. We thank John Beshears, Bruce Carlin, James Choi, and workshop participants at the Social Security Administration and the University of Colorado at Boulder for feedback on earlier versions of this paper.

---- Disclosure of Financial Relationships for Jeffrey R. Brown ----

Brown is a Trustee for TIAA and has also received compensation as a speaker, author or consultant from a number of financial institutions that are involved in retirement plan design.

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