Work Life Transitions by Older Public Employees

Principal Investigator: Robert Clark and Melinda Morrill

Sponsor: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Award Period: 11/01/2013 - 01/31/2017

Amount: $547,161

Description: This project addresses three integrated research questions. First, the researchers will consider participation in state-run supplemental retirement savings plans, including the role of defaults, information, and financial literacy. The investigators will explore how public sector employers might increase participation through an informational campaign. The second proposed analysis is the choice of retirement age and the decision to work after retirement. Lack of planning for retirement or poor decision-making at retirement could lead to an unexpected need to work after retirement. Alternatively, workers may include post-retirement work as part of their overall employment and savings strategy. Workers may respond to incentives imbedded in defined benefit pension plan structures, but may also be influenced by household structure and alternative sources of income in retirement. The third area of study considers how retirees chose between annuity types upon retirement. In summary, workers must make a series of retirement-related decisions that impact retirement income security and are often irreversible. This project will seek to understand these decisions and their implications for individual well-being.