Attention incentives in saving for retirement

Last registered on May 05, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Attention incentives in saving for retirement
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009229
Initial registration date
May 04, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 05, 2022, 10:02 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Essex

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Florida
PI Affiliation
UniversitĂ  Bocconi

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-05-09
End date
2022-05-10
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
We study the effects of incentives and reminders to save for retirement.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Gars, Jared, Matthias Rodemeier and Egon Tripodi. 2022. "Attention incentives in saving for retirement." AEA RCT Registry. May 05. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9229
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We evaluate an experimental intervention conducted by our research partner, a Colombian pension fund. Clients receive phone calls from the organization that encourages them to increase voluntary savings under different experimental conditions, varying economic incentives to save and the availability of personalized reminders to save.
Intervention Start Date
2022-05-09
Intervention End Date
2022-05-10

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. (short term) whether the client meets the incentivized saving threshold of 5000 pesos within 8 weeks
2. (short term) whether the client chooses to receive reminders to save
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
3. (short term) total amount saved within 8 weeks
4. (longer term) whether the client reaches within a year the saving goal that gives them disability and life insurance
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment features 13 treatments:
Control
$2500 matched-saving incentive, without reminder
$2500 matched-saving incentive, with reminder
$2500 matched-saving incentive, with option to receive costly (price=$1000) reminder
$2500 matched-saving incentive, with option to receive costly (price=$2000) reminder
$5000 matched-saving incentive, without reminder
$5000 matched-saving incentive, with reminder
$5000 matched-saving incentive, with option to receive costly (price=$1000) reminder
$5000 matched-saving incentive, with option to receive costly (price=$2000) reminder
$10000 matched-saving incentive, without reminder
$10000 matched-saving incentive, with reminder
$10000 matched-saving incentive, with option to receive costly (price=$1000) reminder
$10000 matched-saving incentive, with option to receive costly (price=$2000) reminder

All monetary values are in Colombian Pesos.

In the treatment groups (groups 2-13), subjects are required to save $5,000 in order to qualify for the match. All subjects in the thirteen experimental conditions were contacted by a call center that informs them about the existing incentives for saving (described below). In the 12 treatment conditions, these groups are further informed about the corresponding matching offer.

If subjects are in group 3, 7, or 11, they receive an SMS reminder about the matching offer 7 weeks after they have been contacted and one week prior to the expiration of the offer..

If subjects are in group 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, or 13, they only receive the reminder if they choose to receive it when they are first contacted by the call center. Choosing the reminder comes at a cost: subjects pay a price p={$1,000, $2,000} that is subtracted from their match. Subjects in groups 2, 6, and 10 are not offered a reminder.

Experimental Design Details
In all experimental conditions, subjects receive a 20% match on their contributions, their savings are adjusted for inflation, and they are eligible for disability and life insurance conditional on their savings behavior. If they (1) save $10,000 at least 10 times by December 2022 or (2) save at least $30,000 one time, then they get disability and life insurance. Both insurances last for the following year (2023).

We will use this experiment to identify the effect of matching and of reminders on savings behavior. We will use variation in the price of reminders and incentives to save to estimate a model of attention allocation. In particular, we are interested whether subjects’ willingness to pay for a reminder is equal to the true returns of being reminded, which we would expect under rational inattention. Alternatively, subjects may under- or overestimate their probability of forgetting to save, such that willingness to pay for the reminder is below or above the true returns of being attentive. To obtain an estimate of willingness to pay, we will estimate a demand curve for the reminder, using the experimentally-induced price variation.
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
individual level
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
n.a.
Sample size: planned number of observations
300,000 randomized to receive calls. From a small pilot, we expect a 13% response rate. Therefore the planned study sample is 40,000.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
4000 in control, and 3000 in each treatment condition.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Essex
IRB Approval Date
2022-05-04
IRB Approval Number
ETH2122-1112

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials