Do savings increase in response to salient information about retirement and expected pensions?


Dolls, Mathias ; Doerrenberg, Philipp ; Peichl, Andreas ; Stichnoth, Holger


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URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/41422
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-414224
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2016
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 16-059
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: H55 , H24 , J26 , D14,
Keywords (English): Pensions , savings , salience , information
Abstract: How can retirement savings be increased? We explore a unique policy change in the context of the German pension system to study this question. As of 2004, the German pension authority started to send out annual letters providing detailed and comprehensible information about the pension system and individual expected pension payments. This reform did not change the level of pensions, but only manipulated the knowledge about and salience of expected pension payments. Using German tax return data, we exploit two discontinuities in the age cutoffs of receiving such a letter to study their effects on private retirement savings. Our results show that the letters increase private retirement savings. The effects are fairly sizable and persistent over several years. We further show that the letter increases labor earnings, and that the increase in savings partly crowds out charitable donations. Moreover, we present evidence suggesting that both information and salience drive the savings effect. Our paper adds to a recent literature showing that policies that go beyond the traditional neoclassical reasoning can be powerful to increase savings rates.

Das Dokument wird vom Publikationsserver der Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim bereitgestellt.




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Dolls, Mathias ; Doerrenberg, Philipp ; Peichl, Andreas ; Stichnoth, Holger (2016) Do savings increase in response to salient information about retirement and expected pensions? Open Access ZEW Discussion Papers Mannheim 16-059 [Working paper]
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