NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Pension Portability and Labor Mobility: Evidence From the Survey of Income and Program Participation

Alan Gustman, Thomas Steinmeier

NBER Working Paper No. 3525
Issued in December 1990
NBER Program(s):   LS

The evidence presented in this paper casts doubt on the proposition that pension backloading is responsible for the low job mobility rates observed for pension covered workers. It corroborates earlier findings by the authors, based on different data, that pension covered jobs offer higher levels of compensation than workers can obtain elsewhere, and it is this compensation premium, rather than non-portability, that accounts for lower turnover among pension covered workers. This evidence is further bolstered by the finding that defined contribution plans, which are not backloaded, and defined benefit plans, bear similar negative relations to mobility.

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Published: Journal of Public Economics, vol 50, 1993, pp. 299-323

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