Pension Design and Structure: New Lessons from Behavioral Finance

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Employees are being given more and more decisions to make with regards to their pension and healthcare plans. Yet increasing research in the social sciences shows that the decisions 'real' people make are not those of the thoughtful and well-informed economic agent often portrayed in economic research, but are often based on flawed information and made without a full understanding of their financial implications.

The contributors to Pension Design and Structure explore the assumptions behind commonly-held theories of retirement decision-making, and the consequences of the growing volume of research in behavioral finance and economics for the field of pension research. Using large datasets newly provided by financial service firms and real-world experiments, this volume tests the hypotheses of this research.

This is the first book to explore the implications of behavioral finance research for pensions and retirement studies, and uses frontier research from several fields, including Finance, Economics, Management, Sociology, and Psychology. Contributors include leading pensions experts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In a very readable way, the authors overview the whole field and offer concise conclusions for pension plan design... Overall, the book is of a very high academic standard, as one would anticipate from this series."—The Journal of Pension Economics and Finance

"Fifteen papers explore how real people behave with regard to retirement savings and provide key insights regarding pension plan design that can result in more savings and better retirement preparedness."—Journal of Economic Literature

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199273393
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2004
  • Pages: 314
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Olivia S. Mitchell is the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor of Insurance and Risk Management, and Executive Director of the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her academic research explores private and publica insurance, risk management, public finance and labour markets, and compensation and pensions, with both a US and international focus. She recently served on President Bush's Commission to Strengthen Social Security.

Stephen P. Utkus is the Director of the Vanguard Center for Retirement Research, where he conducts and sponsors research on retirement savings and retirement benefits. His current research interests include attitudes and expectations regarding retirement, financial markets, and employer-sponsored retirement plans; the psychological and behavioral aspects of participant decision-making; trading and investment behavior among retirement plan participants; fiduciary issues arising from retirement programs; and global trends in public and private pension plans. Mr. Utkus is a member of the advisory board of the Wharton Pension Research Council, and he is currently a Visiting Scholar at The Wharton School.

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Table of Contents

Research on Decision-Making Under Uncertainty
1. Lessons From Behavioral Finance for Retirement Plan Design, Olivia S. Mitchell and Stephen P. Utkus
2. Motivating Retirement Planning: Problems and Solutions, Gary Selnow
3. Who's Afraid of a Poor Old Age? Risk Perception and Risk Management Decisions, Elke Weber
4. Behavioral Portfolios: Hopes for Riches and Protection from Poverty, Meir Statman
Implications for Retirement Plan Design
5. How Much Choice is Too Much? Contributions to 401(k) Retirement Plans, Sheena Sethi-Iyengar, Gur Huberman, and Wei Jiang
6. 'Money Attitudes' and Retirement Plan Design: One Size Does Not Fit All, Donna M. MacFarland, Carolyn D. Marconi, and Stephen P. Utkus
7. Employee Investment Decisions About Company Stock, James J. Choi, David Laibson, Brigitte Madrian, and Andrew Metrick
8. Implications of Information and Social Interactions for Retirement Saving Decisions, Esther Duflo and Emmanuel Saez
Consequences for Retirement Education
9. Saving and the Effectiveness of Financial Education, Annamaria Lusardi
10. Sex Differences, Financial Education, and Retirement Goals, Robert L. Clark, Madeleine B. d'Ambrosio, Ann A. McDermed, and Kshama Sawant
11. The Impact of Advice on Employee Behavior and Retirement Prospects, Jason Scott and Gregory Stein
12. Adult Learning Principles and Pension Participant Behavior, Victor Saliterman and Barry G. Sheckley
Implications for Retirement Payouts
13. How Do Retirees Go From Stock to Flow?, John Ameriks
14. Annuities and Retirement Satisfaction, Constantijn W. A. Panis
15. Perceptions of Mortality Risk: Implications for Annuities, Matthew Drinkwater and Eric T. Sondergeld

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