Cover: Pensions in the Health and Retirement Study, from Harvard University PressCover: Pensions in the Health and Retirement Study in HARDCOVER

Pensions in the Health and Retirement Study

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Product Details


$77.50 • £62.95 • €70.00

ISBN 9780674048669

Publication Date: 05/01/2010


400 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

11 line illustrations, 160 tables


  • List of Tables and Figures
  • Preface
  • List of Abbreviations
  • 1. Introduction
    • The HRS: A Tool for Studying Pensions and Retirement Policies
    • An Introduction to Pensions
    • Further Discussion of the Pension Information in the HRS
    • Trends in Pension Plan Type
    • Trends in Pension Plan Characteristics
    • The Effects of a Changing Pension Environment
    • Complexities of Pensions Lead to Imperfect Understanding
    • Outline of the Book
  • 2. Theories Explaining Pensions
    • Explanations for Pensions from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s
    • Reconciling Recent Changes in Pensions with the Theory of Implicit Contracts
    • Recent Trends Raise Questions about Other Explanations for Pensions
    • Implications of Imperfect Understanding of Pensions for Life Cycle Models
  • 3. Employment and Retirement in the Health and Retirement Study
    • The Structure of the HRS
    • Employment in the HRS over Time, by Cohort and Sex
    • Attrition in the HRS by Initial Labor Market and Pension Status
    • Retirement Trends and Trends in Pensions
    • Conclusions
  • 4. Pension Data in the Health and Retirement Study
    • List of Pension Sequences in the Survey
    • Information Obtained from Employer-Provided Pension Plan Descriptions
    • Appendix 4.1: Tracing Pensions in the Panel
    • Appendix 4.2: Further Details on Matching Employer Pension Plan Descriptions with Respondents
    • Appendix 4.3: Identifying Plans When Respondents Report Having Both Plan Types
    • Appendix 4.4: Other Sources of Employer Plan Descriptions in the HRS
    • Appendix 4.5: Other Sources of Pension Information in the Labor Section of the HRS
    • Appendix 4.6: Pension Data in the Assets and Income Section
  • 5. Pension Plan Participation in the Health and Retirement Study
    • Pension Participation on Current Jobs
    • Turnover from Pension Jobs
    • History of Pension Participation over a Lifetime of Work
    • Participants with Current Pensions
    • Participants with Dormant Pensions
    • Total Number of Respondents with Participation in Either Dormant and/or Current Plans
    • Respondents with Plans in Pay Status
    • Pension Participation in a Live Plan
    • Weighing the Importance of Pension Participation over the Lifetime
    • Coverage through a Spouse
  • 6. Pension Plan Type
    • Pension Plan Type by Cohort, Demographic Group, and Job Characteristics
    • Changes in Plan Type
    • Tenure on the Job and in Pension Plans by Plan Type
    • Pension Changes Experienced by Those Holding the Same Job
    • Transitions to Cash Balance Plans Are Infrequently Reported in HRS Data
    • Implications of Pension Changes for Workers’ Decisions
  • 7. Imperfect Knowledge of Pension Plan Type
    • Reasons for Differences between Firm and Respondent Reports
    • Consistency between Employer and Respondent Reports
    • Difference in the Panel in Respondent and Firm Reports among Those Reporting No Change in Their Pensions
    • Comparison with Watson Wyatt Payroll Data
    • Plan Type in the Full Respondent Panel
    • Reliability of Respondent Reports before Retirement and at Retirement
    • Evidence of Imperfect Information from Interview Tapes and Pension Module
    • Effects of Asking Questions Pertaining to the Wrong Plan Type
    • Summary and Conclusions
  • 8. Pension Retirement Ages
    • Respondents’ Expected Early Retirement Age
    • Respondents’ Expected Normal Retirement Age
    • Comparing Respondent and Employer Reports of Early and Normal Retirement Age
    • Age at which Pension-Covered Workers Expect to Start Receiving Benefits
    • Respondents’ Retirement Plans
    • Expected versus Actual Age of Benefit Receipt
    • Comparing Estimates of Early and Normal Retirement Age and Expected and Actual Ages of Benefit Receipt
    • Conclusions
    • Appendix 8.1: Sensitivity of Early and Normal Retirement Dates to Date of Hire
    • Appendix 8.2: Detailed Descriptions of Covered Samples Underlying Tables in Chapter 8
  • 9. Pension Values
    • Different Measures of Pension Value
    • Respondent Reports of Annual Expected Benefits from Their Most Important DB Plan on Their Current Job
    • Effects of Increasing Labor Force Participation of Women on Trends in DB Pension Values
    • Respondent Reports of DC Account Balances from All Plans on Their Current Jobs
    • Effects of Increasing Labor Force Participation of Women on Trends in DC Pension Values
    • The Present Value of Defined Benefit Plans—Current Plan, Respondent Data
    • Prorated Value of DB Pension Wealth, Respondent Data
    • Pension Values Disaggregated by Demographic and Labor Market Characteristics, Respondent Reports
    • Pension Values of DB Plans from Employer-Provided Pension Plan Descriptions
    • Comparing Benefits at Early, Normal, and Expected Retirement Ages
    • Comparing Self-Reports with Employer Reports for DB Plans
    • Results with Imputed Values
    • Total Value of Pensions from Current, Last, and Previous Jobs
    • Conclusions
    • Appendix 9.1: Detailed Descriptions of Covered Samples Underlying Tables in Chapter 9
    • Appendix 9.2: Findings with Imputations
  • 10. Retirement Incentives from Defined Benefit Pensions
    • Ages of Eligibility for Retirement Benefits
    • Pension Wealth Values by Age and Cohort
    • Benefit Accrual Profiles
    • Cohort Differences in Rates of Benefit Accrual
    • Differences in Benefit Accruals between Men and Women
    • Changes in Benefit Accrual Experienced by Individuals over Time
    • Conclusions
  • 11. Disposition of Pensions upon Leaving a Job and Pension Incomes in Retirement
    • Disposition of Pensions from Last or Previous Jobs
    • Disposition of Pensions from Jobs Held in Previous Waves
    • Effects of Bracketing
    • Pension Incomes in Retirement
    • Conclusions
    • Appendix 11.1: Year-by-Year Measures of the Disposition of Pensions during the Course of the Survey
  • 12. The Changing Role of Pensions in Total Wealth
    • Baseline Results
    • Trends in Pensions and Other Components of Retirement Wealth
    • Trends in Wealth by Household Demographic Structure
    • Wealth Differences between Households with and without Pensions
    • Pensions, Social Security, and the Distribution of Retirement Wealth
    • Conclusions
    • Appendix 12.1: Differences in the Composition of Wealth between Households with and without Pensions
  • 13. Conclusions
    • The HRS Paints an Extraordinarily Rich Picture of Pensions
    • Some Areas of Policy Concern
    • A Word to Pension Data Users
  • Appendix: Constructed Files
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index

Awards & Accolades

  • A 2010 Noteworthy Book in Industrial Relations and Labor Economics, Industrial Relations Section at Princeton University
The Digital Loeb Classical Library [logo and text on gray background]

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