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Shuey, Kim M. (2004). Worker Preferences, Spousal Coordination, and Participation in an Employer-Sponsored Pension Plan. Research on Aging, 26(3), 287-316.


Recent changes in the pension environment, such as the growth of defined contribution plans, place more responsibility on individuals for the accumulation of retirement resources and provide workers with an increasing array of pension-related choices and decisions. This study uses data from the Health and Retirement Study to examine two instances where workers face such decisions—participation in an offered defined contribution plan and participation in a supplemental pension plan. The author examines the relationship between two largely unexplored predictors of pension participation—psychological motivators of saving and the influence of spouse’s behavior. Individual preferences for planning and risk and measures of spouse’s pension behavior are included in probit models predicting individual pension participation. Results reveal gender differences in the association between preferences and behavior and differences in the primary versus supplemental decision. They also suggest that spouses coordinate pension decisions and behave similarly within structural constraints.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Research on Aging


Shuey, Kim M.