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Key Findings Details

Participation and Contributions in Tax-deferred Retirement Accounts: Evidence from Social Security Records
Marjorie Honig and Irena Dushi
WP 2009-219

  • Participation in tax-deferred retirement plans increased substantially from 1984 to 2003 for for participants in the Health and Retirement Study.
  • Contributions relative to earnings were nearly identical (5.5 percent) among three cohorts over this period.
  • Those with earnings under than the median contributed less than $2,000 a year, while those in the highest income quartile tripled contributions from $2,000 to $6,000.
  • Early Baby Boomers contributed less than their peers in the War Babies cohort, but more than their peers in the original HRS cohort.