The Power of Percentage: Quantitative Framing of Pension Income

Henriette Prast, F. Teppa

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We investigate whether the quantitative frame used to communicate future
pension income to plan members matters for perceived pension income
adequacy. We allocate plan members randomly to one of four pension income
framing conditions: annual pension income, monthly pension income, pension
income as percentage of current income, pension income as decimal of current
income. We find that expressing projected pension income as a percentage
(decimal) of current income significantly increases (decreases) the probability
that a plan member perceives the pension income as too low. This effect is
robust to adding retirement savings attitude. In addition, we find significant
and intuitive effects of household wealth, income, age and education on
perceived pension income adequacy. We discuss our findings against the
backdrop of previous studies on the effect of numeric frames on perceptions,
provide suggestions for further research and draw conclusions for pension
communication and survey design.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Publication series

NameNetspar Academic Series


  • framing effects
  • pension income
  • perceived adequacy


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