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The Impact of Employer Matching on Savings Plan Participation under Automatic Enrollment

John Beshears, James Jinwoo Choi, David Isaac Laibson () and Brigitte C. Madrian

No 13352, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Existing research has documented the large impact that automatic enrollment has on savings plan participation. All the companies examined in these studies, however, have combined automatic enrollment with an employer match. This raises a question about how effective automatic enrollment would be without a direct financial inducement not to opt out of participation. This paper's results suggest that the match has only a modest impact on opt-out rates. We estimate that moving from a typical matching structure - a match of 50% up to 6% of pay contributed - to no match would reduce participation under automatic enrollment at six months after plan eligibility by 5 to 11 percentage points. Our analysis includes a firm that switched from a match to a non-contingent employer contribution. This firm's experience suggests that non-contingent employer contributions only weakly crowd out employee participation.

JEL-codes: D14 D91 G23 H31 J32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007-08
Note: AG EFG LS PE
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Published as The Impact of Employer Matching on Savings Plan Participation under Automatic Enrollment, John Beshears, James J. Choi, David Laibson, Brigitte C. Madrian. in Research Findings in the Economics of Aging, Wise. 2010

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