The Influence of Pensions on Behavior: How Much Do We Really Know?

Alan L. Gustman, Dartmouth College
Thomas L. Steinmeier, Texas Tech University

April 2002 | Issue # 71

Economists have developed models to explain the impact of pensions and Social Security on various outcomes, such as retirement, worker turnover, and saving. However, some recent research has raised questions about these conventional models. This issue of Research Dialogue summarizes findings from our ongoing research on pensions and Social Security. Using data from the new longitudinal Health and Retirement Study that reports both the respondents’ own knowledge about their pensions and the actual provisions of their pension plans, our research emphasizes how well the conventional model does in describing behavior, answers some of the questions raised by others, and raises some new questions. We also discuss the implications of our findings for researchers and policy makers.

© 2014 and prior years, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), New York, NY 10017