The Making and Breaking of Trust in Pension Providers

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Trust in pension institutions is pivotal in making pension decisions, like saving or enrolling in pension programs. But which traits of pension institutions matter in making or breaking trust in providers like pension funds, banks or insurance companies? This paper presents an empirical analysis of the underlying forces of trust in private pension providers in the Netherlands. Based on a large-scale survey among pension participants, we show that the perceived integrity, competence, stability, and benevolence of pension providers matter in
assessing the trustworthiness of pension providers. Pension funds are more trusted than banks or insurance companies, a difference that is primarily related to weights attached to perceived levels of integrity and stability. Second, higher educated participants have a significantly higher propensity to trust pension providers than lower educated. Third, transparency as perceived by participants plays virtually no role in establishing trust.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherNetwork for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement (NETSPAR)
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameNetspar Discussion Papers
No.DP 09/2017-015


  • trust
  • pension
  • stability
  • integrity
  • transparency


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