Motivated saving: The impact of projections on retirement contributions
26 October, 8-9pm UTC time zone | 27 October, 7-8am AEDT Sydney, Australia (for other time zones click here)
Speaker: Susan Thorp (University of Sydney, CEPAR)
Abstract: We analyze multi-year changes in voluntary contributions and plan interactions of retirement savers, induced by projections of retirement incomes and lump sum balances. Data from a field trial in a large Australian pension plan shows that the frequency and average amount of participants’ voluntary contributions and interactions with the plan rose significantly in the first year of projection treatment and persisted into the second year of treatment. Using a related experimental survey, we show that both future income and balance projections are needed to motivate significantly higher, long-term voluntary contributions. These outcomes endorse recent efforts by pension regulators to enhance benefit statements using projections and identify effective projection formats.
Susan Thorp is Professor of Finance at the University of Sydney. She researches consumer finance, focusing on retirement savings. She uses theoretical, empirical and experimental techniques to test consumer responses to advice, disclosures and choice architecture. Her research has been published in leading international academic journals including Management Science, the Review of Finance and the Economic Journal, and has attracted over four million dollars in public and industry funding. Susan is a member of the Steering Committee of the Mercer CFA Institute Global Pensions Index, a member of the Research Committee of the OECD/International Network on Financial Education and a Director of Super Consumers Australia.