Evaluating Two Technological Interventions Encouraging Retirement Saving

Published: 2013
Project ID: UM13-10


The goal of this project is to explore the efficacy of two technological approaches to promote voluntary saving in 401(k) retirement accounts. Working with Vanguard, a leading 401(k) plan administrator, we will evaluate the impact of two new retirement saving features to be introduced to websites made available to retirement plan participants. The first is a ‘Save More’ button, to be added to several plan homepages immediately after participants log on. The second innovation will introduce a red/yellow/green ‘Traffic Signal,’ which helps people evaluate how well they are prepared for retirement. These two technological developments will be introduced to different populations of plan participants, and in different combinations: some participants will receive both treatments, some will receive only one of the two, and some will receive none. We will examine contribution and portfolio allocation patterns in the cross-section, and compare pre/post outcomes.



Olivia S. Mitchell