This research was supported by CSREES National Research Initiative Competitive Grant No. 2003-35401-13781.
Retirement Plan Participation in an Era of Change: The Case of a Rural Region*
Version of Record online: 7 SEP 2011
Copyright © 2011, by the Rural Sociological Society
Volume 76, Issue 3, pages 319–346, September 2011
How to Cite
Whitaker, E. A., Bokemeier, J. L. and Loveridge, S. (2011), Retirement Plan Participation in an Era of Change: The Case of a Rural Region. Rural Sociology, 76: 319–346. doi: 10.1111/j.1549-0831.2011.00053.x
- Issue online: 7 SEP 2011
- Version of Record online: 7 SEP 2011
Individual savings are critical for retirement as government and employer-based provisions fade or become less secure. Rural communities are vulnerable given their higher proportion of elderly and more who rely on Social Security. Using a telephone survey of working-age residents in Michigan's rural Upper Peninsula, this research investigates factors associated with participation in tax-advantaged retirement plans that have largely replaced defined-benefit pension plans for earmarked retirement savings. The project also identifies factors predictive of making maximum contributions to those retirement plans. We consider several distinct categories of variables to reflect the social embeddedness of economic action. In addition, the research included community variables describing aspects of respondents' social context, a new component of the savings discourse, which we show to be significantly related to saving outside a tax-advantaged retirement plan and making maximum contributions to a tax-advantaged retirement plan.