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Sustainable social security: four options

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  • Sagiri Kitao

Abstract

This paper presents four policy options to make Social Security sustainable under the coming demographic shift: 1) increase payroll taxes by 6 percentage points, 2) reduce the replacement rates of the benefit formula by one-third, 3) raise the normal retirement age from sixty-six to seventy-three, or 4) means-test the benefits and reduce them one-to-one with income. While all four policies achieve the same goal, their economic outcomes differ significantly. Options 2 and 3 encourage own savings, and capital stock is more than 10 percent higher than in the other two options. The payroll tax increase in option 1 discourages work effort, but means-testing the benefits as outlined in option 4 yields the worst labor disincentives, especially among the elderly.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 505.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:505

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Keywords: Social security ; Demography ; Retirement ; Payroll tax ; Labor market ; Employee fringe benefits;

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  1. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joseph Lupton, 2005. "To Leave or Not To Leave: The Distribution of Bequest Motives," NBER Working Papers 11767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Smetters, Kent & Walliser, Jan, 2007. "Mitigating America's demographic dilemma by pre-funding social security," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 247-266, March.
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  14. James Sefton & Justin vandeVen & Martin Weale, 2008. "Means Testing Retirement Benefits: fostering equity or discouraging savings?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 556-590, 04.
  15. Juan C. Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 1999. "Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 757-795, October.
  16. Attanasio Orazio P. & Gianluca Violante, 1999. "Global Demographic Trends and Social Security Reform," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  17. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Sagiri Kitao, 2012. "Social Security Reforms: Benefit Claiming, Labor Force Participation, and Long-Run Sustainability," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 96-127, July.
  18. Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Julian Diaz-Saavedra, 2009. "Delaying Retirement in Spain," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 147-167, January.
  19. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Kent Smetters & Jan Walliser, 1999. "Privatizing Social Security in the U.S. -- Comparing the Options," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 532-574, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Cagri Seda Kumru & John Piggott, 2012. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Means-tested Benefits," Working Papers 201215, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.

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