Contributory Retirement Saving Plans: Differences across Earnings Groups and Implications for Retirement Security

Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 77(2), p. 13-24, 2017

12 Pages Posted: 9 May 2017

See all articles by Irena Dushi

Irena Dushi

U.S. Social Security Administration

Howard Iams

U.S. Social Security Administration

Christopher R. Tamborini

U.S. Social Security Administration

Date Written: May 2, 2017

Abstract

This article examines how savings in defined contribution (DC) retirement plans vary across the earnings distribution. Specifically, the authors investigate the extent of an earnings gradient in access to, participation in, and levels of contribution to DC plans. Using a nationally representative sample of Survey of Income and Program Participation respondents to data from their W-2 tax records, the authors find that DC plan access, participation, and contributions increase as earnings increase, even after controlling for key socioeconomic and labor-market covariates. They also find that, despite changing economic conditions, the earnings gradient changed little between 2006 and 2012.

Keywords: Defined Contribution Pensions, Earnings Gradient

JEL Classification: J10, J31, J32

Suggested Citation

Dushi, Irena and Iams, Howard and Tamborini, Christopher R., Contributory Retirement Saving Plans: Differences across Earnings Groups and Implications for Retirement Security (May 2, 2017). Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 77(2), p. 13-24, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2964540

Irena Dushi (Contact Author)

U.S. Social Security Administration ( email )

Washington, DC 20254
United States

Howard Iams

U.S. Social Security Administration ( email )

Washington, DC 20254
United States

Christopher R. Tamborini

U.S. Social Security Administration ( email )

500 E. Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20254
United States
202.358.6109 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ssa.gov/policy/

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