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What You Don't Know Can't Help You: Pension Knowledge and Retirement Decision-Making

Sewin Chan and Ann Huff Stevens
The Review of Economics and Statistics
Vol. 90, No. 2 (May, 2008), pp. 253-266
Published by: The MIT Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40043144
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
What You Don't Know Can't Help You: Pension Knowledge and Retirement Decision-Making
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Abstract

This paper provides an answer to an important empirical puzzle in the retirement literature: while most people know little about their own pension plans, retirement behavior is strongly affected by pension incentives. We combine administrative and self-reported pension data to measure the retirement response to actual and perceived financial incentives and document an important role for self-reported pension data in determining retirement behavior. Well-informed individuals are far more responsive to pension incentives than the average individual. Ill-informed individuals seem to respond systematically to their own misperceptions of pension incentives.

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