Effective Pension Communication

Last registered on December 21, 2015


Trial Information

General Information

Effective Pension Communication
Initial registration date
December 21, 2015

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
December 21, 2015, 2:29 PM EST

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



Primary Investigator

ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, UNSW

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Maastricht University
PI Affiliation
Maastricht University

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
With the increasing individualization and insecurity of the Dutch pension system, the responsibility for a sufficient pension lies more and more with the pension fund participant. In order to make a decision on whether future pension benefits are sufficient or whether to take additional measures to save for retirement, participants need to have accurate information on the status quo. However, interest in pension communication has been found to be low. Through an experiment where the content of letters is slightly changed per treatment group, we will analyse which manner of communication is most effective in increasing pension awareness. Our main dependent variable is whether participants visit the new website of the pension fund and log in. Furthermore, we are able to see whether different groups of participants react differently to treatments and whether the behavior on the website changes per treatment. Younger participants might react more often to the lottery treatment than older participants. The lottery treatment might lead to more people logging in, while it also might have the consequence that people spend less time to inform themselves.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bauer, Rob, Inka Eberhardt and Paul Smeets. 2015. "Effective Pension Communication." AEA RCT Registry. December 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.987-1.0
Former Citation
Bauer, Rob, Inka Eberhardt and Paul Smeets. 2015. "Effective Pension Communication." AEA RCT Registry. December 21. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/987/history/6421
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The main variable is the percentage of participants logging in to the website of the pension fund. Additional outcome variables are time spent on the website, whether the participant checks the pension planner and whether the participant takes the pension quiz.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The letters are sent via a quarterly magazine published by the pension fund and invite the participant to his/her personal space on the pension fund’s website. Each treatment adds one sentence at the beginning of the second paragraph. Four treatments are separated on two dimensions: two letters provide contents on what people think about their future pension income, while two other letters provide information on what people think about the adequacy of their retirement savings. The second dimension lays out whether the pension income or the pension savings will be enough according to a large part of the Dutch. The fifth treatment announces a lottery among the participants who log in to the website. On the website, there is the opportunity to fill in a quiz to test pension knowledge. The quiz contains survey questions on risk and time preferences as well as trust towards the pension fund, current saving behavior and saving intentions. Next to this, we have administrative data on gender, age, income and place of residence.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by a computer
Randomization Unit
Pension fund participants
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
~250,000 participants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
~250,000 participants
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials