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Social security and retirement in germany

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Author Info

  • Börsch-Supan, Axel

    ()
    (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Schnabel, Reinhold

    ()
    (Fachb. Wirtschaftswiss., Universität-Gesamthochschule Essen)

Abstract

This paper describes the German public old age social security program ("Gesetzliche Rentenversicherung") and its incentive effects on retirement decisions. The paper presents the key features of the system and expresses retirement incentives in form of accrual rates of social security wealth and implicit tax rates on earnings. It summarizes labor market behavior of older persons in Germany during the last 35 years and surveys the empirical literature on the effects of the social security system on retirement in Germany. The paper shows that even after the 1992 reform the German system is actuarially unfair. This generates a substantial redistribution from late to early retirees and creates incentives to early retirement. Indeed, average retirement age is very low in West Germany (about age 59) and even lower in East Germany. This tendency towards early retirement is particularly hurting in times of population aging when the German social security contribution rate is expected to increase dramatically and will substantially exceed the rates in other industrialized countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 97-20.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jun 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:97-20

Note: Matthias Fengler, Ulrich Finke, Isabel Gödde, Jens Köke and Christian Wessels provided helpful research assistance. we are grateful to Peter Schmidt and to Edgar Kruse for fruitful discussions. Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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References

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  1. Riphahn, Regina T. & Schmidt, Peter, 1995. "Determinanten des Rentenzugangs: Lockt der Ruhestand oder drängt der Arbeitsmarkt?," ZEW Discussion Papers 95-10, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Glenn T. Sueyoshi, 1989. "Social Security and the Determinants of Full and Partial Retirement: A Competing Risks Analysis," NBER Working Papers 3113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & David A. Wise, 1987. "The Incentive Effects of Private Pension Plans," NBER Working Papers 1510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1992. "Three Models of Retirement: Computational Complexity versus Predictive Validity," NBER Chapters, in: Topics in the Economics of Aging, pages 21-60 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1987. "Issues in Pension Economics," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi87-1, May.
  6. James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1990. "The Pension Inducement to Retire: An Option Value Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Aging, pages 205-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 1997. "Germany: A social security system on the verge of collaps," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 97-23, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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