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Pension Funding and Individual Accounts in Economies with Life-cyclers and Myopes

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  • Hans Fehr
  • Fabian Kindermann

Abstract

The present article studies the growth and efficiency consequences of pension funding with individual retirement accounts (IRAs) in a general equilibrium overlapping generations model with idiosyncratic lifespan and labor income uncertainty. We distinguish between economies with rational and hyperbolic consumers and compare the consequences of voluntary and mandatory retirement plans. Three major findings are derived in our study: first, we quantify the commitment effect of social security for myopic individuals by roughly 1% of aggregate resources. It is possible to recapture this commitment technology in IRAs, if those are annuitized. Second, despite the fact that our consumers have an operative bequest motive, the welfare gain from the (implicit) longevity insurance of the pension system is significant and amounts to roughly 0.5% of aggregate resources. However, mandatory annuitization reduces unintended bequests so that future generations are significantly hurt. Finally, our results highlight the importance of liquidity effects for social security analysis. These efficiency gains are only attainable if accounts are voluntary and not mandatory. (JEL codes: H55, J26) Copyright The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CESifo in its journal CESifo Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 56 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 404-443

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:56:y:2010:i:3:p:404-443

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2011. "Myopia, redistribution and pensions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 165-175, February.
  2. Jan Hagemejer & Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2013. "Efficiency of the pension reform: the welfare effects of various fiscal closures," Working Papers 2013-23, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  3. Michael Funke & Yu-Fu Chen, 2010. "Booms, recessions and financial turmoil: A fresh look at investment decisions under cyclical uncertainty," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 21007, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  4. Fedotenkov, I., 2012. "Pensions and ageing in a globalizing world. International spillover effects via trade and factor mobility," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5590843, Tilburg University.
  5. Andras Simonovits, 2013. "A family of simple paternalistic transfer models," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1324, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  6. Hans Fehr & Manuel Kallweit & Fabian Kindermann, 2011. "Should Pensions be Progressive? Yes, at least in Germany!," CESifo Working Paper Series 3636, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Kumru, Cagri S. & Thanopoulos, Athanasios C., 2011. "Social security reform with self-control preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 886-899.
  8. Fehr, Hans & Kallweit, Manuel & Kindermann, Fabian, 2013. "Should pensions be progressive?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 94-116.
  9. Hans Fehr, 2009. "Computable Stochastic Equilibrium Models and Their Use in Pension- and Ageing Research," De Economist, Springer, vol. 157(4), pages 359-416, December.
  10. Van de Ven, Justin, 2011. "Do Defined Contribution Pensions Correct for Short-Sighted Savings Decisions? Evidence from the UK," Papers WP399, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  11. Cagri Seda Kumru & Athanasios C. Thanopoulos, 2009. "Social Security Reform and Temptation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2778, CESifo Group Munich.

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