Pension Estimation Program Package

Since its inception, an important goal of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) project has been to assist researchers who are interested in estimating pension wealth and predicting future income from pensions. To this end, the project has implemented a process for obtaining and analyzing pension information. Periodically, the HRS obtains pension Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) from the employers of study respondents. These SPDs are then analyzed and coded, and the plan description data, along with specific data from the respondents, are prepared for analysis by a locally developed software product known as the Pension Estimation Program (PEP). This program is designed to estimate the pension entitlements held by respondents of the HRS, based on the plan formulas and benefit provisions obtained from the linked sample of pension providers. The PEP uses systems of equations to represent each of the pension plans, including all benefit formulas and payment provisions. These equations, in turn, use as input work and income histories of the respondents. For a given set of assumptions, the program calculates the appropriate pension entitlements, and generates output data files for subsequent analysis.

Product Details

See User Guide and Database Overview, below.
Product Type
Pension Estimation
Entry Cohort Info
HRS: (1992, 1998, 2004, 2010, 2016); CODA: (1998, 2004, 2010, 2016); WB: (1998, 2004, 2010, 2016); EBB: (2004, 2010, 2016); MBB: (2010, 2016); LBB: (2016)
Latest Release April 2022 (v4)
Version Notes
  • The 2022 version of the Pension Estimation Program was created for use with the HRS 1992, 1998, 2004, 2010, and 2016 Pension Plan databases. The software and databases are packaged and distributed together.
Documentation and Links

The Pension Estimation Program and accompanying databases are available to researchers through the MiCDA Data Enclave.