NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Worker Knowledge of Pension Provisions

Olivia S. Mitchell

NBER Working Paper No. 2414
Issued in October 1987
NBER Program(s):   LS   AG

This paper evaluates the quality of workers' information regarding pension offerings using both administrative records and worker reports of pension provisions. Missing and misinformation proves to be widespread. Unionized employees, higher income workers and those in large firms, the better educated, and those with greater seniority are better informed about their pensions. There are also demographic differences: nonwhites have less pension knowledge than whites, but women are better informed than men along several pension dimensions. Myopia about pension incentive structures is troubling since workers may save or consume suboptimally, change jobs, or retire earlier than they would have if equipped with better pension information. The prevalence of missing data should also be troubling to empirical pension analysts using data sets reporting workers' assessments of pension provisions.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w2414

Published: Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 6, January 1988, pp. 21-39. citation courtesy of

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