A Fistful of Dollars - Financial Incentives Improve Retirement Information Search

66 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2017 Last revised: 20 Jun 2019

See all articles by Rob Bauer

Rob Bauer

Maastricht University

Inka Eberhardt

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR); Maastricht University

Paul Smeets

Maastricht University

Date Written: June 17, 2019

Abstract

A lack of pension awareness undermines adequate savings decisions. To understand what motivates individuals to become informed about their pension situation, we conducted two field experiments with 245,712 and 257,433 pension fund participants, respectively. We find that lottery-type financial incentives to visit an online personal pension planner are cost effective and increase the rate at which individuals check their pension information. This uptake of pension information led to improved pension knowledge and increased savings behavior three weeks after our intervention. Offering a few large prizes rather than many small prizes is most effective, and financial incentives work when used repeatedly.

Keywords: Retirement Information Search, Field Experiment; Financial Incentives; Social Norms

JEL Classification: C93, D83

Suggested Citation

Bauer, Rob and Eberhardt, Inka and Smeets, Paul, A Fistful of Dollars - Financial Incentives Improve Retirement Information Search (June 17, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3023943 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3023943

Rob Bauer

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200 MD
Netherlands
+31 43 3883871 (Phone)

Inka Eberhardt (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) ( email )

Level 6 (enter via East Lobby)
L5 Building
Sydney, New South Wales NSW 2052
Australia

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

Paul Smeets

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands
+31433883643 (Phone)

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