Approaching Retirement: The Categories, Timing, and Correlates of Advice-Seeking

Gordon L. Clark, Maurizio Fiaschetti, and Peter Tufano

This paper is concerned with advice-seeking by DC plan participants as they approach retirement, focusing upon the categories, correlates and timing of advice-seeking. Our empirical analysis utilizes a large Australian data base, identifies the drivers of advice-seeking behavior and, most importantly, pinpoints age-specific reference points that appear to prompt participants to seek advice about retirement planning from the plan administrator. We analyze the patterns of advice-seeking by older participants, focusing upon the topics-raised and determinants of advice-seeking discriminating between the effects of age, gender and account balances on retirement planning. An important aspect of the paper concerns whether there is evidence of an increasing focus on retirement as participants go from 45-49 years to 65 years or more. Implications are drawn for the design of pension plans as regards their engagement with older participants.

Keywords. Advice, pensions, retirement planning, age, gender

JEL Codes. G23

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