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Le système de retraite américain : impact de la crise et tendances de long terme

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This paper presents a summary of the U.S. pension system. First, our goal is to explain how unfunded and funded pension schemes work. We also study how the economic and financial crisis has affected these different schemes. Moreover, we examine the official long-run forecasts of the evolution of the unfunded pension scheme (OASDI) according to various economic and demographic scenarios. Finally, we study the nature of the public debate and the policy options for government action. Our work shows that the crisis has not jeopardized the financing of the unfunded pension scheme because the latter stays in surplus in the short and medium term. The crisis only reduced the amount of this surplus. In the long term, the accumulated trust fund should be insufficient to cover future primary deficits. A major reform can not be excluded from 2020 onwards. The financial crisis has sharply devaluated the assets of the funded pension schemes, which conducts to a problem of survival for some pension funds. Without public financial support or a sufficient recovery in financial markets, a drop in the amount of pensions is possible.

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Paper provided by Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) in its series Documents de Travail de l'OFCE with number 2010-27.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:1027

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Keywords: US economy; pension schemes; economic crisis.;

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  1. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1996. "Privatization of Social Security: How It Works and Why It Matters," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 10, pages 1-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Melissa Boyle & Joanna N. Lahey, 2008. "Health Insurance and the Labor Supply Decisions of Older Workers: Evidence from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs," Working Papers 0801, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  3. Elizabeth T. Powers & David Neumark, 2003. "The Interaction of Public Retirement Income Programs in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 261-265, May.
  4. Robert Novy-Marx & Joshua D. Rauh, 2008. "The Intergenerational Transfer of Public Pension Promises," NBER Working Papers 14343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Kent A. Smetters & Jan Walliser, 1998. "Opting Out of Social Security and Adverse Selection," NBER Working Papers 6430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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