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Retirement, Saving, Benefit Claiming and Solvency Under A Partial System of Voluntary Personal Accounts

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  • Alan L. Gustman

    (Dartmouth College and NBER)

  • Thomas L. Steinmeier

    (Texas Tech University)

Abstract

This paper is based on a structural model of retirement and saving, estimated with data for a sample of married men in the Health and Retirement Study. The model simulates how various features of a system of personal Social Security accounts jointly affects retirement, saving, the choice of whether benefits are taken as an annuity or lump sum, taxes paid and the course of benefits with age. Among our findings: Under a system of partial personal accounts, the fraction of 62 year olds at full time work would decline by about 22 percent compared to retirements under the current benefit formula. If the current system were replaced completely by personal accounts, the fraction at full time work would decline by about a third. If all benefits from personal accounts could be taken as a lump sum, the fraction not retired at age 62 would fall by about 5 percentage points compared to a system where there is mandatory annuitization of benefits. Unless annuitization is mandatory, there would be substantial diversion of benefits to age 62, reducing benefits received in one’s 70s and 80s by 20 percent or more.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp105.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp105

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  1. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2004. "The social Security Retirement Earnings Test, Retirement and Benefit Claiming," NBER Working Papers 10905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Donna B. Gilleskie & David M. Blau, 2006. "Health insurance and retirement of married couples," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 935-953.
  3. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1996. "The Transition Path in Privatizing Social Security," NBER Working Papers 5761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1998. "Privatizing Social Security: First-Round Effects of a Generic, Voluntary, Privatized U.S. Social Security System," NBER Chapters, in: Privatizing Social Security, pages 313-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2000. "The Power of Suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) Participation and Savings Behavior," NBER Working Papers 7682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Optimal Defaults," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 180-185, May.
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