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Pension reform and demographic uncertainty: the case of Germany

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  • FEHR, HANS
  • HABERMANN, CHRISTIAN

Abstract

The present paper compares the distributional and risk-sharing consequences of two pension reform proposals 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 of 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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Suggested Citation

  • Fehr, Hans & Habermann, Christian, 2006. "Pension reform and demographic uncertainty: the case of Germany," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 69-90, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jpenef:v:5:y:2006:i:01:p:69-90_00
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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).
    3. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Larry Kotlikoff, 2003. "The Developed World's Demographic Transition - the Roles of Capital Flows, Immigration, and Policy," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-133, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    4. Axel Boersch-Supan & Florian Heiss & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2003. "Pension Reform, Capital Markets and the Rate of Return," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 151-181, May.
    5. Jukka Lassila & Tarmo Valkonen, 2001. "Pension Prefunding, Ageing, and Demographic Uncertainty," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(4), pages 573-593, August.
    6. Fehr, Hans, 1999. "Welfare Effects of Dynamic Tax Reforms," Beiträge zur Finanzwissenschaft, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, edition 1, volume 5, number urn:isbn:9783161470165, April.
    7. 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.
    8. Ronald D. Lee & Ryan D. Edwards, 2001. "The fiscal impact of population change," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 46.
    9. Fehr, Hans, 2000. " Pension Reform during the Demographic Transition," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(3), pages 419-443, June.
    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, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:acb:cbeeco:2014-616 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Unemployment, human capital depreciation and pension benefits: an empirical evaluation of German data," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(02), pages 223-241, April.
    3. Attias, Anna & Arezzo, Maria Felice & Pianese, Augusto & Varga, Zoltan, 2016. "A comparison of two legislative approaches to the pay-as-you-go pension system in terms of adequacy. The Italian case," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 203-211.
    4. Alfonso R. Sánchez, 2014. "The automatic adjustment of pension expenditures in Spain:an evaluation of the 2013 pension reform," Working Papers 1420, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    5. Lassila, Jukka & Valkonen, Tarmo, 2007. "Longevity Adjustment of Pension Benefits," Discussion Papers 1073, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    6. Holmøy, Erling & Strøm, Birger, 2013. "Computable General Equilibrium Assessments of Fiscal Sustainability in Norway," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
    7. Hans FEHR, "undated". "Pension Reform with Variable Retirment Age," EcoMod2010 259600055, EcoMod.
    8. Chung Tran, 2014. "Temptation and Taxation with Elastic Labor," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2014-617, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    9. Hans Fehr, 2009. "Computable Stochastic Equilibrium Models and Their Use in Pension- and Ageing Research," De Economist, Springer, vol. 157(4), pages 359-416, December.
    10. George Kudrna & Chung Tran & Alan Woodland, 2015. "Facing Demographic Challenges: Pension Cuts or Tax Hikes," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2015-626, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    11. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_713 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Knell, Markus, 2010. "How automatic adjustment factors affect the internal rate of return of PAYG pension systems," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 1-23, January.
    13. Erling Holmøy & Kyrre Stensnes, 2008. "Will the Norwegian pension reform reach its goals? An integrated micro-macro assessment," Discussion Papers 557, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    14. Kudrna, George & Tran, Chung & Woodland, Alan, 2015. "The dynamic fiscal effects of demographic shift: The case of Australia," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 105-122.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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