Firm-Level Policy Toward Older Workers
Olivia S. Mitchell, Rebecca A. Luzadis
NBER Working Paper No. 1579
This paper focuses on one aspect of long-term labor contracts -- employer-provided pensions -- in order to develop a better understanding of how such contracts affect employment patterns of older workers. Pensions are one of the few elements of the employment package which explicitly describe long term agreements between workers and their employers; consequently they offer a unique opportunity to study these agreements. The present paper combines labor supply and contract theory to examine pension responses to changes in taxes, Social Security benefits, and the federal government's recent decision to lift the age of mandatory retirement. Evidence on a longitudinal sample of pension plans from 1960 to the present suggests:(1) During the 1960-70 period, Social Security increases generated changes in pensions favoring early retirement; and (2) During the 1970-80 period, some plans reduced private pension benefits in response to the raising of the mandatory retirement age.
Published: Mitchell, Olivia and Rebecca Luzadis. "Changes in Pension Incentives Through Time," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, vol. 12, pp. 100-108, October 1988