Population ageing, together with the recent economic downturn and its aftermath, are giving considerable cause for concern as regards the future sustainability of public pension systems. Voluntary pension schemes emerge here as an alternative to supplement the public pension pillar, and therefore, understanding how individuals make their financial decisions when participating in voluntary pension schemes becomes a question of key importance. There is a growing literature aimed at analysing this issue, but few studies to date have analysed the effect of behavioural traits on participation in voluntary pension schemes. Particularly, an analysis of the effect of self-control on this financial decision will be the aim of this paper. Based on data from the International Survey of Adult Financial Literacy, this paper analyses, through probit regression models, the effect of financial self-control, besides other control variables, e.g., gender, on the holding of financial assets for retirement savings. Empirical evidence reveals that higher levels of financial self-control are positively associated with saving for retirement. Moreover, when this variable is considered, the statistically significant effect of other driving forces traditionally highlighted by previous literature disappears. Therefore, our empirical evidence supports the need to consider behavioural issues in explaining individuals’ financial decisions.
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