a1 School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, 1315 E. 10th St., Bloomington, IN 47401, USA (e-mail: email@example.com)
a2 Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Department of Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20220, USA (e-mail: Ithai.Lurie@treasury.gov)
a3 Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Department of Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20220, USA (e-mail: Shanthi.Ramnath@treasury.gov)
This paper examines differences between immigrant and native employees in retirement plan participation using SIPP data. We find that the participation rate among natives is 60 percent, while the native-immigrant participation gap ranges from 10.9 percentage points for naturalized citizens to 35.4 percentage points for non-permanent residents. Controlling for demographic and job characteristics can explain up to half of the gap. Decomposing the overall immigrant-native difference into differences in employer offers, plan eligibility, and plan take-up shows that the likelihood of working for an employer that offers a plan is the primary driver of the overall gap.
(Online publication November 14 2011)
* The authors wish to thank attendees of the Office of Tax Analysis Brown Bag Seminar and the 2011 Conference of the International Institute of Public Finance for helpful advice and comments. The views expressed are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.