Partial recall: Differences between actual and self-reported annuitization decisions in Sweden

This paper reports the results from a large telephone survey of 1,000 retiring white-collar workers in Sweden. Shortly before the interview, the participants at age 65 had a choice of receiving a life annuity by default or opting for a fixed-term payout, with a minimum payout length of five years. Large monetary amounts were at stake in the payout decision of the survey participants; the average monthly pension payment under the life annuity amounted to USD 280. Comparing the survey responses with administrative records on actual payout choices, I find that a majority of retiring white-collar workers fail to recall their payout decision. The recollection rate is much lower among annuitants (those who chose the default option); only 40% of the annuitants accurately recalled their payout decision compared to 77% of those who opted for a fixed-term payout. Beyond payout choice, few individual characteristics predict successful recollection.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is een denktank en kennisnetwerk. Netspar is gericht op een goed geïnformeerd pensioendebat.


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