Living with Defined Contribution Pensions

Living with Defined Contribution Pensions

Pension Research Council Publications

Edited by Olivia S. Mitchell and Sylvester J. Schieber

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

312 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm

  • ISBN: 9780812234398
  • Published: May 1998



Employers are increasingly turning to defined contribution plans, especially the popular 401(k) plan, in place of the older, employer-based pension model.

This shift has implications for the nation's workforce. Such defined contribution pensions have clear advantages for employees, including greater flexibility and portability. But they also place a great deal of responsibility on participants' shoulders. Decisions about whether to participate, how much to contribute, and how to invest can be overwhelming for individuals with limited knowledge or understanding of retirement savings.

Living with Defined Contribution Pensions considers the impact of defined contribution pension plans on the prospects for retirement saving and wellbeing. The book carefully analyzes the emerging trends in defined contribution pensions, seeking to explore how the switch will affect retirement income in the future, and recommending ways to improve decision making about pension design in the future.

"The book contains high-quality research, drawn from many sources and well referenced, yet written in a straightforward, businesslike way. . . . After an excellent introduction by the editors, the book is divided into three sections:

  • The new responsibility of defined contribution plans

  • Preserving defined contribution pension accumulations, and

  • Retirement policy and defined contribution plans.