Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

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Working Paper

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This chapter examines workers’ plans to take lump sum distributions versus life annuities from employer retirement plans. The analysis is based on before and after surveys of retirement eligible workers who attended employer-provided retirement planning seminars. We consider workers’ planned distributional choices from both defined benefit and 401(k) plans. A minority of respondents plan to take the non-default options, highlighting the importance of framing. Additionally, higher financial literacy is associated with lower rates of annuitization in both plans. We explore how participants change their planned distribution choices after attending seminars that enhance financial knowledge and understanding of retirement plans.


The published version of this Working Paper may be found in the 2011 publication: Financial Literacy: Implications for Retirement Security and the Financial Marketplace.

Working Paper Number


Copyright/Permission Statement

Opinions and conclusions are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect views of the institutions supporting the research, with whom the authors are affiliated, or the Pension Research Council. Copyright 2010 © Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.

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Economics Commons



Date Posted: 07 August 2019