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Pension Design and Structure

New Lessons from Behavioral Finance

Edited by Olivia S. Mitchell and Stephen P. Utkus

Employees are being given more and more decisions to make with regards to their pension and healthcare plans.

Yet increasing research in the social sciences shows that the decisions ‘real’ people make are not those of the thoughtful and well-informed economic agent often portrayed in economic research, but are often based on flawed information and made without a full understanding of their financial implications.

The contributors to Pension Design and Structure explore the assumptions behind commonly-held theories of retirement decision-making, and the consequences of the growing volume of research in behavioral finance and economics for the field of pension research. Using large datasets newly provided by financial service firms and real-world experiments, this volume tests the hypotheses of this research.

This is the first book to explore the implications of behavioral finance research for pensions and retirement studies, and uses frontier research from several fields, including Finance, Economics, Management, Sociology, and Psychology. Contributors include leading pensions experts.

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About the Authors

Olivia S. Mitchell

Olivia S. Mitchell's main areas of interest are private and public insurance, risk management, public finance, labour markets, compensation, and pensions with both a US and an international focus. She is a Research Associate of the NBER and she earned her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ... More

Stephen P. Utkus

Stephen P. Utkus is the Director of the Vanguard Center for Retirement Research, where he conducts and sponsors research on retirement savings and retirement benefits. His current research interests include attitudes and expectations regarding retirement, financial markets, and employer-sponsored retirement plans; the psychological and behavioral aspects of participant decision-making; trading and investment behavior among retirement plan participants; fiduciary issues arising from retirement programs; and global trends in public and private pe ... More

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