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Relevant dimensions to give meaning to pension decisions

Pension participants face complex decisions. Information about the decision alternatives often contains the exact monetary amounts associated with the alternatives. Grounded in Fuzzy-Trace Theory (FTT), the authors argue that informed decision making requires participants to (accurately) understand meaningful differences between decision alternatives, rather than to rely on purely numerical differences in amounts.

04. april 2024

The objective of this study was to identify, for three decisions Dutch participants can make regarding their old-age pension, what dimensions participants take into account when giving meaning to the decision alternatives. They conducted 39 semi-structured in-depth interviews with Dutch pension participants in which they discussed the considerations of participants to choose for the decision alternatives. These interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis. Their analysis shows that a number of dimensions are taken into account, partially overlapping for the three decisions: life expectancy, (in)suffcient income, financial maximization, work–life balance, and job satisfaction. According to FTT, participants can be supported in extracting meaningful representations by providing cues about the dimensions that might be affected by the various decision alternatives. The dimensions identifed in this paper can, according to the authors, serve as a useful starting point for such support.