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Government mandated private pensions: a dependable foundation for retirement security?

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  • Rowena A. Pecchenino
  • Patricia S. Pollard

Abstract

We develop a model of an overlapping generations economy characterized by private pensions where risk averse agents face both longevity and investment risks. The government mitigates the effects of longevity risk by mandating that individuals purchase annuities. Investment risk arises since the returns on annuities deviate randomly from actuarial fairness as a result of differences in the costs of administering pension funds. Thus, identical agents' pensions may yield drastically different returns: the government's pension policy is not horizontally equitable. We examine whether policies exist that can achieve horizontal equity, and discuss the costs and benefits of implementing these policies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 1999-012.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:1999-012

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Keywords: Social security ; Pensions ; Retirement;

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  1. Peter A. Diamond, 2000. "Administrative Costs and Equilibrium Charges with Individual Accounts," NBER Chapters, in: Administrative Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 137-172 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & David N. Weil, 1992. "The Increasing Annuitization of the Elderly- Estimates and Implications for Intergenerational Tranfers, Inequality, and National Saving," NBER Working Papers 4182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1177-98, December.
  4. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
  5. Monika Queisser, 1999. "Pension Reform: Lessons from Latin America," OECD Development Centre Policy Briefs 15, OECD Publishing.
  6. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Menchik, Paul L, 1987. "Planned and Unplanned Bequests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(1), pages 55-66, January.
  7. Antonio Rangel & Richard Zeckhauser, 2001. "Can Market and Voting Institutions Generate Optimal Intergenerational Risk Sharing?," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 113-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John Laitner & F. Thomas Juster, 1993. "New evidence on altruism: a study of TIAA-CREF retirees," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 86, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Shah, Hemant, 1997. "Toward better regulation of private pension funds," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1791, The World Bank.
  10. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  11. Eckstein, Zvi & Eichenbaum, Martin & Peled, Dan, 1985. "Uncertain lifetimes and the welfare enhancing properties of annuity markets and social security," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 303-326, April.
  12. Olivia S. Mitchell, . "Evaluating Administrative Costs in Mexico's AFORES Pension System," Pension Research Council Working Papers 99-1, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  13. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 1999. "Selection Effects in the Market for Individual Annuities: New Evidence from the United Kingdom," NBER Working Papers 7168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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