Linkages » Pension Data Linkages

Since its inception, an important goal of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) project has been to assist researchers who are interested in estimating pension wealth and predicting future income from pensions. To this end, the project has implemented a process for obtaining and analyzing pension information. Periodically, the HRS obtains pension Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) from the employers of study respondents. These SPDs are then analyzed and coded, and the plan description data, along with specific data from the respondents, are prepared for analysis by a locally developed software product known as the Pension Estimation Program (PEP). This program is designed to estimate the pension entitlements held by respondents of the HRS, based on the plan formulas and benefit provisions obtained from the linked sample of pension providers. The PEP uses systems of equations to represent each of the pension plans, including all benefit formulas and payment provisions. These equations, in turn, use as input work and income histories of the respondents. For a given set of assumptions, the program calculates the appropriate pension entitlements, and generates output data files for subsequent analysis.

The data sets available for use with the PEP are listed below. Go to the RDA Overview page for information on how to obtain access to these restricted data products.

Pension Estimation 
HRS 2004 Pension Plan Detail Data Set10462008 (v1.0)
HRS 1992 Pension Plan Detail Data Set (Distributed with HRS 2004)10182006 (v1.1)
HRS 1998 Pension Plan Detail Data Set (Distributed with HRS 2004)10212006 (v1.1)