Ageing and the tax implied in public pension schemes: simulations for selected OECD countries
A key figure suited to measuring intergenerational imbalances in unfunded public pension schemes is given by the 'implicit tax rate' imposed on each generation's lifetime income. The implicit tax arises from the fact that, quite generally, pension benefits fall short of actuarial returns to contributions paid to these systems while actively working. Under current pension policies, implicit tax rates will increase sharply for younger generations in most industrialised countries. In this paper, this is illustrated for the cases of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, the UK and the USA. Nevertheless, there are remarkable differences across countries regarding both the level of implicit taxes and their development over successive age cohorts, which can be attributed to differences in ageing processes and in the institutional features of national pension systems. In addition, we can demonstrate how effective different approaches to pension reform are in smoothing the intergenerational profile of implicit tax rates.
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Volume (Year): 25 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
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