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The Standard Deviation of Life-Length, Retirement Incentives, and Optimal Pension Design

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  • Thomas Aronsson
  • Sören Blomquist

Abstract

In this paper, we consider how the retirement age as well as a tax financed pension system ought to respond to a change in the standard deviation of the length of life. In a first best framework, where a benevolent government exercises perfect control over the individuals’ labor supply and retirement-decisions, the results show that a decrease in the standard deviation of life-length leads to an increase in the optimal retirement age and vice versa, if the preferences for “the number of years spent in retirement” are characterized by constant or decreasing absolute risk aversion. A similar result follows in a second best setting, where the government raises revenue via a proportional tax (or pension fee) to finance a lump-sum benefit per year spent in retirement. We consider two versions of this model, one with a mandatory retirement age decided upon by the government and the other where the retirement age is a private decision-variable.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3201.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3201

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Keywords: uncertain lifetime; retirement; pension system;

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  1. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Introduction to "Social Security and Retirement around the World"," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 1-35 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. CREMER, Helmuth & LOZACHMEUR, Jean-Marie & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Social security, retirement age and optimal income taxation," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1722, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Ryan D. Edwards & Shripad Tuljapurkar, 2005. "Inequality in Life Spans and a New Perspective on Mortality Convergence Across Industrialized Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(4), pages 645-674.
  4. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2007. "Future Social Security Entitlements and the Retirement Decision," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 234-246, May.
  5. Juan Lacomba & Francisco Lagos, 2006. "Population aging and legal retirement age," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 507-519, July.
  6. Diamond Peter A & Orszag Peter R, 2005. "Saving Social Security: The Diamond-Orszag Plan," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-9, April.
  7. Peter A. Diamond & Peter R. Orszag, 2005. "Saving Social Security," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 11-32, Spring.
  8. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, October.
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