A Community-Based Randomized Controlled Trial of an Educational Intervention to Promote Retirement Saving Among Hispanics


School of Public Policy

Document Type


Publication Date



We conducted a community-based randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the impact of an intervention to promote retirement saving among low- and moderate-income, predominantly Spanish-speaking Hispanics, who do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement account. Our educational intervention provided participants with key information in Spanish related to financial planning for retirement and made use of “behavioral nudges” to encourage participants to open a government-sponsored retirement saving account, my Retirement Account (myRA). Among 142 participants (70 and 72 in control and treatment groups, respectively), we found a significant Difference in Differences (DD) on the proportion of those who opened a myRA. In the treatment group 14% of participants opened myRA, while none in the control group did. Results from a DD regression showed that after controlling for observable and unobservable characteristics through our design as an RCT, the effect of our intervention was 12%. When we restricted our sample to those participants who had a bank account at some point in the study, we found that the effect of our intervention was higher (17%). We also found that our intervention was effective in increasing self-reported knowledge related to retirement saving and preparedness.

Publication Title

Journal of Family and Economic Issues