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Pensions as Psychological Contracts: Implications for Work Outcomes

Authors

  • ANDREW A. LUCHAK,

  • DIONNE M. POHLER

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       The authors’ affiliations are, respectively, Department of Strategic Management and Organization, School of Business, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6, Canada; Department of Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour, Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan, 25 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A7, Canada. E-mails: andrew.luchak@ualberta.ca, pohler@edwards.usask.ca. The authors gratefully acknowledge financial assistance from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the J.D. Muir Fund at the University of Alberta.


Abstract

Drawing on psychological contract theory, we develop predictions regarding the moderating influence of the meaning employees assign to their marginal quit costs, as well as on the role of stayer perceptions and saver effects, on various work outcomes under a defined-benefit pension. Results show pension incentives can have favorable or unfavorable effects depending on whether employees perceive them as supportive relational contracts or as low-trust transactional contracts. Implications for research and policy are discussed.

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