This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.

Survey of Pension Providers, 1983:[United States] (ICPSR 9949)

Principal Investigator(s): Curtin, Richard T.


A major objective of this study was to identify and to quantify pension plan provisions and benefit formulas using a standard format. The overall research design for the study was based on the SURVEY OF CONSUMER FINANCES, 1983 (ICPSR 9751), which assessed the financial status of American households using a "balance-sheet" approach. This approach permits a systematic investigation of the various types of assets and liabilities held by households, with each component monetized at its current market value. Detailed information was collected on household savings and wealth, including the amount and types of financial and nonfinancial investments and liabilities, as well as entitlements to private and public pension benefits. Pension plan providers were identified and then contacted for information about their plans. Pension plan variables include actual service years, potential service years, final average pay, Social Security offset, mandatory contributions by participants, employer matching of mandatory contributions, potential voluntary contributions by participants, employer matching of voluntary contributions, employer contributions to pension plan, employer contributions to participants, and lump-sum contributions at retirement. Pension eligibility requirement variables include required age and service, other requirements, date restrictions, when payments begin, and length of payment period. Household and individual variables cover date of birth, date hired, age hired, date terminated employment, age terminated employment, date retirement benefits begin, age retirement benefits begin, date at death, age at death, probability of retirement circumstance, participant's special qualifications, hours worked per year, rate of pay per year, and participant's voluntary contributions.

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


DS1:  Surveyof Pension Providers, 1983: [United States] - Download All Files (42.662 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   

Study Description


Curtin, Richard T. Survey of Pension Providers, 1983:[United States]. ICPSR09949-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1993. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09949.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09949.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    employee benefits, employers, employment, financial assets, household income, households, investments, pension contributions, pension plans

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1983

Date of Collection:   

  • 1983--1984

Universe:    National cross-section of dwelling units (exclusive of institutional quarters) representing the total population of the 48 contiguous United States.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

This study originally utilized a "pension formula generator program" which was written in a version of Pascal found only on the Michigan Terminal System (MTS) at the University of Michigan. This program is not included with the ICPSR release of these data. Users wanting further information about the program should contact the principal investigator.


Sample:    Multistage area probability sample (stratified by the four major geographic regions--Northeast, North Central, South, and West--so that each region received representation in proportion to its population) with an oversample of wealthier households using tax data to identify which households were covered by employer-sponsored pensions, which pension these employees chose, and which benefit formulas and requirements governed these pension entitlements.

Data Source:

telephone interviews, and self-enumerated questionnaires


Original ICPSR Release:   1993-10-11



Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics