Absence of conflict of interest.
- The study’s objective was to examine the impact of the program “Yo Planeo Retiro” on knowledge for retirement savings.
- The study was a randomized controlled trial, assigning eligible individuals to the program or a control group. The authors used data from a six-month follow up survey to conduct statistical models and compare differences in outcomes between the treatment and control groups.
- The study found that the participants who received the educational intervention were significantly more likely to open a myRA account and had an increase in financial knowledge compared to participants in the control group.
- This study receives a low evidence rating. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the intervention “Yo Planeo Retiro”; other factors are likely to have contributed.
Yo Planeo Retiro Program
Features of the Intervention
The “Yo Planeo Mi Retiro” or “I plan for my Retirement” program was developed to promote retirement savings. The program was designed to serve low-middle income Spanish-speaking Hispanics, between the ages of 30-64, who do not have a retirement savings plan and do not have access to an employer sponsored account. The program was delivered in the computer lab at the three community centers across Los Angeles: Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, New Economics for Women, and Central City Partners. The intervention was provided through a two-hour workshop, a one-week follow up, a three-month follow up, and a six-month follow up workshop.
The intervention was a 50-minute session that included a presentation and time to open a myRA account. A 30-minute presentation focused on four topic areas: (1) What is retirement? Barriers and Benefits, (2) How do retirement saving plans work? Compound interest and common types of retirement saving plans, (3) How to open a myRA, and (4) Recommendations. The remaining 20 minutes was dedicated to opening a myRA account on the computer.
Features of the Study
The study was a randomized controlled trial that randomly assigned participants into the treatment and control groups. The sample included 140 participant households selected from the Los Angeles area. The treatment group included 72 participants and the control group included 70 participants. The participants were between the ages of 30-64, proficient in Spanish, had a Social Security Number (SSN) or Truncated Taxpayer Identification Number (TTIN), and did not have a retirement savings plan. The treatment group participants immediately received the intervention and control group participants received the educational intervention six-months after the treatment group. The primary data came from the six-month follow-up survey to assess whether participants opened a myRA account and had an increase in knowledge related to retirement preparedness and saving. The survey also assessed financial management behaviors in saving and investment, cash management, and credit management. The authors used a statistical model to compare differences in outcomes between the treatment and control group members before and after the intervention.
Knowledge and skills for financial decision making
- The study found that participants who received the educational intervention were significantly more likely to open a myRA account and had an increase in financial knowledge compared to participants in the control group.
Knowledge and skills and for money management
- The study did not find any significant differences in financial management behavior between treatment and control group participants.
Considerations for Interpreting the Findings
Although the study was a randomized controlled trial, participants in the treatment group received assistance opening a myRA account on the computer from the intervention educators. Participants in the control group did not receive any computer assistance opening an account. Computer assistance by the educators presents a confound and may have contributed to the differences in outcomes between the treatment and control groups.
Causal Evidence Rating
The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because the study has a confounding factor. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to “Yo Planeo Retiro”; other factors are likely to have contributed.