Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Saving for retirement and taxes

Over the past few decades, fewer and fewer workers have been covered by traditional employer provided "defined benefit" pension plans.

Instead, our income tax system has provided incentives for a growing and complex array of tax-advantaged "defined contribution" pension plans: 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, 457 plans, traditional and Roth IRA plans, Keogh, SIMPLE and SEP plans, and more.

Here are some good papers to read about the economic implications of these developments:

"The Changing Landscape of Pensions in the United States", James M. Poterba, Steven Venti, and David A. Wise, December 2007

"Choice, Behavior, and Retirement Saving", Steven Venti, December 2004

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