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How Much Do Respondents In The Health And Retirement Study Know About Their Tax-deferred Contribution Plans? A Cross-cohort Comparison

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Executive Summary

The authors use information from Social Security earnings records to examine the accuracy of survey responses regarding participation in tax-deferred pension plans. As employer-provided defined benefit pensions are replaced by voluntary contribution plans, employees' understanding of the link between their annual contribution decisions and their post-retirement wealth is becoming increasingly important. They examine the extent to which wage-earners in the Health and Retirement Study correctly report their inclusion in tax-deferred contribution plans and, conditional on inclusion, their annual contributions.

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