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Pension reform and demographic uncertainty: the case of Germany

  • FEHR, HANS
  • HABERMANN, CHRISTIAN

The present paper compares the distributional and risk-sharing consequences of two pension reform options in Germany, which both aim to improve the sustainability of the current system by introducing demographic variables to the benefit calculation. While the first reform proposes a so-called sustainability factor , which measures the changes in the dependency ratio, the second reform proposes a so-called demographic factor , which takes into account the changes in life expectancy. Our simulations indicate that both reforms imply a double burden for currently middle-aged generations and a double relief for future living generations. On the one side, resources are redistributed from currently towards future living generations. In addition, part of the risk from demographic uncertainty is shifted from future living towards currently living middle-aged generations. The reforms differ, however, with respect to the magnitude of the resource distribution and risk implications. Therefore, future generations are much better off with the sustainability factor , while it is not clear whether middle-aged generations are better off with the demographic factor or the sustainability factor .

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Journal of Pension Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 5 (2006)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
Pages: 69-90

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jpenef:v:5:y:2006:i:01:p:69-90_00
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  1. Börsch-Supan, Axel H. & Heiss, Florian & Ludwig, Alexander & Winter, Joachim, 2003. "Pension reform, capital markets and the rate of return," Munich Reprints in Economics 20200, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Alho, Juha M. & Hougaard Jensen, Svend E. & Lassila, Jukka & Valkonen, Tarmo, 2005. "Controlling the effects of demographic risks: the role of pension indexation schemes," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 139-153, July.
  3. Ronald D. Lee & Ryan D. Edwards, 2001. "The fiscal impact of population change," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 46.
  4. Fehr, Hans, 1999. "Welfare Effects of Dynamic Tax Reforms," Beiträge zur Finanzwissenschaft, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, edition 1, volume 5, number urn:isbn:9783161470165.
  5. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence Kotlikoff, 2003. "The Developed World's Demographic Transition - The Roles of Capital Flows, Immigration, and Policy," NBER Working Papers 10096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Fehr, Hans, 1999. "Pension reform during the demographic transition," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 8, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
  7. Jukka Lassila & Tarmo Valkonen, 2001. "Pension Prefunding, Ageing, and Demographic Uncertainty," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 573-593, August.
  8. Bonin, Holger, 2001. "Will it Last? An Assessment of the 2001 German Pension Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 343, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Beetsma, Roel & Bettendorf, Leon & Broer, Peter, 2003. "The budgeting and economic consequences of ageing in the Netherlands," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 987-1013, September.
  10. Georg Hirte, 2002. "Welfare and Macroeconomic Effects of the German Pension Acts of 1992 and 1999: A Dynamic CGE Study," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(1), pages 81-106, 02.
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