Supplemental Plan Offerings and Retirement Saving Choices: An Analysis of North Carolina School Districts
Unlike private sector employers, public school districts generally offer more than one type of supplemental retirement savings plan and allow multiple vendors to offer products. Using individual-level payroll data from over half of the public school districts in North Carolina coupled with data from an employer survey, this study examines the impact of inter-district differences in supplemental plan administration on participation in these savings vehicles. We find wide variation in total participation rates and in 403(b) plan participation rates in particular, even among this population of public-sector workers with the same defined benefit pension plan, health plan, and retiree health coverage. Individual and district characteristics explain some, but not all, of the variation observed.
This paper was prepared for the NBER Conference on Retirement and Health Benefits in the Public Sector, April 10-11, 2015, and the authors are grateful for comments from Brigitte Madrian and other conference participants. The authors thank Bryan Allard for excellent research assistance and Robert Hammond and Thayer Morrill for helpful comments and suggestions. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of North Carolina State Treasurer Janet Cowell as well as Steve Toole, Mary Buonfiglio, and Sam Watts of the North Carolina Retirement Systems in obtaining the payroll data and administering the survey used in this study. The authors also gratefully acknowledge Adam Hooks at Education Management Systems and Mark Gooch of K12 Financial for modifying the school district payroll software to allow districts to provide payroll data. The TIAA CREF Institute provided funding for this research. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Emma Hanson is employed by the Retirement Systems Division of the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer. The Retirement Systems Division administers the statutory retirement and benefit plans that cover North Carolina school district employees.
Supplemental Plan Offerings and Retirement Saving Choices: An Analysis of North Carolina School Districts, Robert L. Clark, Emma Hanson, Melinda S. Morrill, Aditi Pathak. in The Impact of Reforms of State Retirement Plans, Clark and Newhouse. 2016
Robert L. Clark, Emma Hanson, Melinda Sandler Morrill, Adiit Pathak, 2016. "Supplemental plan offerings and retirement saving choices: an analysis of North Carolina school districts," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, vol 15(03), pages 333-355. citation courtesy of