Financial Literacy among Union College Faculty and Staff

BACKGROUND: This project is part of Henry Hanley's (Union Class of '09) senior thesis written under my supervision. It is motivated by the fact that Americans are now responsible for managing their own retirement savings. The replacement of traditional pensions with defined contribution plans forces untrained individuals to navigate a complex set of rules, tax incentives, and investment choices. Previous research shows that the majority of the American public is largely unprepared to manage their retirement savings. Emerging new research examines how retirement plans can be designed to deal with limited financial knowledge. This project aims to assess financial knowledge among Union employees and potentially contribute to discussion of Union's plan.

BIG DISCLAIMER: Although Henry and I are pretty sure that the facts we state on this website are correct, please do not interpret them as plan rules or investment advice. If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Seven Things Union College Employees Don't Know but Probably Should - a brief summary of the results of the test. It emphasizes areas where knowledge was particularly lacking.

Financial Literacy and the Design of Retirement Plans - an academic article based on the survey results published in the Journal of Socio-Economics.

Financial Literacy Test for Defined Contribution Plans - a financial literacy test similar to the one administered at Union. In this version we reworked a number of questions and added a few more. Anyone wishing to assess the knowledge of their plan participants is welcome to use it. For comments or suggestions please contact