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A Model under Siege: A Case Study of the German Retirement Insurance System

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  • Borsch-Supan, Axel
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    Abstract

    This study evaluates the positive and negative features of the German public pension system and discusses three reasons for its increasing perceived and real difficulties: maturation, negative incentive effects, and the problems of demographic change. The German system in its current form may be able to limp through the coming decades but will cease to be the exemplary Bismarckian machine that has created generous retirement incomes at reasonable tax rates. Current policy proposals are insufficient and a few but incisive design changes and some degree of prefunding could rescue the many positive aspects of the German retirement insurance system.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 110 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 461 (February)
    Pages: F24-45

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    Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:110:y:2000:i:461:p:f24-45

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    Cited by:
    1. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2002. "What We Know and What We Do NOT Know," MEA discussion paper series 02017, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    2. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2000. "Was lehrt uns die Empirie in Sachen Rentenreform?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(4), pages 431-451, November.
    3. Barbara Berkel & Axel Börsch-Supan, 2003. "Renteneintrittsentscheidungen in Deutschland: Langfristige Auswirkungen verschiedener Reformoptionen," MEA discussion paper series 03031, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    4. Barbara Berkel & Axel Börsch-Supan, 2003. "Pension Reform in Germany: The Impact on Retirement Decisions," MEA discussion paper series 03036, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    5. Simone Kohnz & Reinhold Schnabel, 2002. "Micro Modeling of Retirement Decisions in Germany," MEA discussion paper series 02020, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    6. Florian Heiss & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2002. "Pension reform, capital markets, and the rate of return," MEA discussion paper series 02023, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    7. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2002. "Kann die Finanz- und Sozialpolitik die Auswirkungen der Bevölkerungsalterung auf den Arbeitsmarkt lindern?," MEA discussion paper series 02012, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    8. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Brugiavini, Agar, 2000. "Savings: The Policy Debate in Europe," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 01-14, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    9. Axel Börsch-Supan & Anette Reil-Held & Christina Benita Wilke, 2003. "Der Nachhaltigkeitsfaktor und andere Formelmodifikationen zur langfristigen Stabilisierung des Beitragssatzes zur GRV," MEA discussion paper series 03030, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    10. Axel H. Börsch-Supan & Anette Reil-Held & Christina B. Wilke, 2007. "How an Unfunded Pension System looks like Defined Benefits but works like Defined Contributions: The German Pension Reform," MEA discussion paper series 07126, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    11. Axel Börsch-Supan & Christina Benita Wilke, 2003. "The German Public Pension System: How it Was, How it Will Be," MEA discussion paper series 03034, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    12. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2002. "Labor market effects of population aging," MEA discussion paper series 02011, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    13. Axel Borsch-Supan & Barbara Berkel, 2003. "Pension Reform in Germany: The Impact on Retirement Decisions," NBER Working Papers 9913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Michael Hofmann & Gerhard Kempkes & Helmut Seitz, 2008. "Demographic Change and Public Sector Budgets in a Federal System," CESifo Working Paper Series 2317, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Peter Kesting, 2010. "Why it is possible that wages and pensions can increase simultaneously in an ageing and stagnating % A theoretical investigation and a simulation of the German case," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(6), pages 727-738.
    16. Axel Boersch-Supan, 2001. "Labor Market Effects of Population Aging," NBER Working Papers 8640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Axel Boersch-Supan & Christina B. Wilke, 2004. "The German Public Pension System: How it Was, How it Will Be," NBER Working Papers 10525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Axel Börsch-Supan & Anette Reil-Held & Christina Benita Wilke, 2003. "How to make a Defined Benefit System Sustainable: The Sustainability Factor in the German Benefit Indexation Formula," MEA discussion paper series 03037, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.

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