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Longevity: Trends, uncertainty and the implications for pension systems

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  • Eich, Frank
  • Swarup, Amarendra
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    Abstract

    This paper presents historical trends in life expectancy in the United Kingdom and other countries and discusses how these trends might evolve over the coming decades. The paper argues that the expected increases in longevity are likely to have significant implications for the structure of pension systems in the future. Individuals, businesses and governments have already responded to these expected increases – for example by working longer, closing defined-benefit pension schemes or introducing parametric reforms to the state pension system – and are likely to change their behaviours further in the future. The issue is complicated by the fact that future longevity trends are uncertain. This makes it more difficult to allocate longevity risk efficiently and fairly across the different economic agents, while making it also more difficult to guarantee the sustainability of the system overall. The paper shows though that innovative solutions to this challenge are being developed, from businesses moving towards hybrid defined-benefit/defined-contribution pension schemes, to governments introducing mechanisms which automatically split the financial burden arising from future increases in life expectancy between state and individual, to businesses taking advantage of new products being developed to transfer any risk to the capital markets. --

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    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/54562/1/20090805_Longevity_0.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ZBW - German National Library of Economics in its series EconStor Preprints with number 54562.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:esprep:54562

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    Related research

    Keywords: Pensions; Uncertainty; Financial markets; Longevity; Pension liabilities;

    References

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    1. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2007. "Introduction to "Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Fiscal Implications of Reform"," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Fiscal Implications of Reform, pages 1-42 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sarah Smith & James Banks, 2006. "Retirement in the UK," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 06/140, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    3. Ponds, E.H.M. & Riel, B. van, 2009. "Sharing risk: The Netherlands' new approach to pensions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3129589, Tilburg University.
    4. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2007. "Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Fiscal Implications of Reform," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub07-1.
    5. Essig, Lothar, 2004. "Precautionary saving and old-age provisions: Do subjective saving motives measures work?," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 05-22, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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