NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Robert G. Hammond

Department of Economics
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2017Nudging Retirement Savings: A Field Experiment on Supplemental Plans
with Robert L. Clark, Melinda Sandler Morrill, Christelle Khalaf: w23679
Although supplemental saving plans can be an important part of an individual's financial security in retirement, contribution rates remain low, particularly among those with lower salaries and less education. We report findings from a field experiment that distributed an informational nudge containing information on key aspects of the employer-provided supplemental saving plans of older public employees in North Carolina. Among workers participating in a supplemental plan, individuals who received an informational nudge increased their contributions in the months following the intervention relative to the control group. Moreover, those that received the nudge reported in a subsequent survey that they were more likely to have developed a retirement plan and report more confidence in thei...
June 2017 Planning for Retirement? The Importance of Time Preferences
with Robert L. Clark, Christelle Khalaf, Melinda Sandler Morrill: w23501
Ensuring retirement income security is a priority for individuals, employers, and policymakers. Using merged administrative and survey data for public sector workers in North Carolina, we explore how workers’ characteristics and preferences are associated with planning and saving for retirement. We then assess the “quality” of a retirement plan and whether retirement behavior is consistent with these plans. The findings indicate that the way that individuals discount future consumption is associated with the extent of their retirement planning and preparedness. We find that individuals who engage in retirement planning are better prepared to meet their retirement goals upon leaving their career jobs.
March 2017Annuity Options in Public Pension Plans: The Curious Case of Social Security Leveling
with Robert L. Clark, Melinda S. Morrill, David Vanderweide: w23262
Social Security Leveling is an annuity option that allows participants to receive a level income before and after age 62. The retiree receives a larger pension benefit prior to age 62, but then the pension benefit is lowered at age 62 when the individual is expected to claim Social Security benefits. This option is not uncommon in public pension plans, yet little is known about how this option is used in practice and its impact on well-being in retirement. Our study uses a combination of administrative records and survey data from recent North Carolina public sector retirees. We find that one-third of all retirees selecting a single life annuity between 2009 and 2014 opted for Social Security Leveling. The evidence suggests that individuals are choosing this option in a way that is consi...
 
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