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Do Workers Know about Their Pension Plan Type? Comparing Workers' and Employers' Pension Information

Do Workers Know about Their Pension Plan Type? Comparing Workers' and Employers' Pension Information

Chapter:
(p.47) Chapter Two Do Workers Know about Their Pension Plan Type? Comparing Workers' and Employers' Pension Information
Source:
Overcoming the Saving Slump
Author(s):
Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier, Nahid Tabatabai
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226497105.003.0003

This chapter addresses a widespread lack of information about pensions. It seems that discrepancies between respondent and firm reports of plan type are mainly due to errors in respondent data. A number of changes in survey design can help decrease reporting error. The fraction of respondents who do not know their plan type is lower in later years. In addition, the fraction who correctly determine their plan type has no strong trend over time, running about 60 percent in 1983 and about 62 percent in 2004. For the corresponding periods 1992–2004 and 1998–2004, the matches were better. Findings with Watson Wyatt data reveal that underreporting of pension coverage amounts to about 5 percent. The data reports that respondents frequently misreport pension plan type. The evidence then reveals that providing a person with the opportunity to report on the wrong plan type will invite the individual to present erroneous information.

Keywords:   pensions, firm, reporting error, respondents, pension plan type, Watson Wyatt, pension coverage

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