1983 Survey of Pension Providers

Summary Results

The Survey of Pension Providers was designed to gather more detailed information on the pension plans of survey participants than could reasonably be expected in a personal interview. For cases where either the respondent or the spouse or partner of the respondent had some pension coverage from a current job, the SCF interviewer asked for information that could be used to contact the providers of the pensions. The providers were asked for copies of the official summary plan descriptions, and this information was coded for use with the main survey data.

Overview of the 1983 Survey of Pension Providers
Richard T. Curtin, University of Michigan
This paper provides details about the overall research design and methodology used for entitlement estimation. The sections describe the sample, research design, measurement model, benefit formulas, plan provisions, and the assumptions required for the estimation of entitlements. The overview also contains a response table for the 1983 SPP.
Overview (2.1 MB PDF)

Current SCF Tables and Chartbook


Four types of technical documentation for the 1983 SPP are available: a reference manual for coding procedures, the 1983 coding instruments, the 1983 codebook, and the 1983 data dictionary.

Coding Procedures and Formula Notation for the 1983 Survey of Pension Providers
Survey Research Center, University of Michigan
This manual contains general guidelines for coders who completed the coding instruments on the basis of summary plan descriptions. It also clarifies the nature of the information collected for users.
Reference manual (11.8 MB PDF)

Coding Instrument for the 1983 Survey of Pension Providers
Survey Research Center, University of Michigan
Information from the summary plan desciptions obtained from the pension providers of SCF respondents and their spouses or partners was abstracted using a combination of four coding instruments: Pension Provider Coversheet; Part I: General Plan Provisions; Part II: Defined Benefit Pension Plans; and Part III: Defined Contribution Pension Plans.
Pension Provider Cover Sheet (965 KB PDF)
Part I: General Plan Provisions (252 KB PDF)
Part II: Defined Benefit Pension Plans (5.9 MB PDF)
Part III: Defined Contribution Pension Plans (3.1 MB PDF)

Codebook for the 1983 Survey of Pension Providers
Survey Research Center, University of Michigan
The codebook contains a description of the variables included in the public data set for the 1983 SPP.
Codebook (17.6 MB PDF)
Last updated 1987

Data Dictionary for the 1983 Survey of Pension Providers
Survey Research Center, University of Michigan
For each variable in the codebook, the data dictionary contains its number, its label, its location in each record in the data set, and the number of bytes it occupies.
Data dictionary (235 KB ASCII)

Survey Data

1983 Survey of Pension Providers Data
This is the final version of the rectangular ASCII file released to the public. PKZIP compression is available. (See H.15 for software to uncompress PKZIP files.) The size of the uncompressed ASCII flatfile is approximately 18 MB.
Survey data (400 KB ZIP)
Last updated September 26, 1991

Two types of software are available for the 1983 SPP: a program for reading the data into a SAS data set and then merging that information with the corresponding cases in the main 1983 SCF data set; and a program for computing pension benefits for plan participants.

Software for Reading the 1983 SPP
The following program provides an example of SAS code to merge the 1983 SPP data with appropriate observations from the 1983 SCF.
Merge data (23 KB ASCII)
SAS program (3 KB ASCII)

Programs to Compute Pension Benefits
Survey Research Center, University of Michigan
This software falls roughly into two parts: The first is intended to read the SPP data and derive formula representations of the benefits from the plans; these formulas are included here. The second part is intended to use these formulas together with the main SCF data (or other data) to compute (1) a benefit conditioned on a set of characteristics and (2) a present value of that benefit. The files are provided in a zipped file which also contains documentation of the program. This documentation is also available separately in PDF format. The programs offered here were produced by the University of Michigan. No warranty is made for the performance of these files.

The software is written in a version of Pascal that ran on the University of Michigan system at the time the programs were written. Prospective users are warned that intensive efforts to run these programs elsewhere have been largely unsuccessful. The programs are made available here for two reasons. First, the formulas generated by the first part of the program may be useful to some researchers even without the ability to use the second half of the software. Second, the software documents a key analytical stage in the development of the functioning software available elsewhere on this site for use with the 1989 SPP.

Program files including documentation (1.4 MB ZIP)
Documentation only (2.5 MB PDF)

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Last Update: March 09, 2017