Financial Incentives Beat Social Norms: A Field Experiment on Retirement Information Search
A lack of pension knowledge undermines adequate savings decisions. To understand what motivates individuals to inform themselves about their pension situation, we conducted a field experiment with 245,712 pension fund participants. We find that a small financial incentive is cost-effective and increases the rate at which individuals visit their personal pension website by 52%. Our experiment directly compares the effect of financial incentives to different social norms, which turn out to be ineffective in the pension domain. Financial incentives are effective regardless of gender, age and income, while nudges are ineffective for each subgroup.