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Revenue Effects of Tax Facilities for Pension Savings

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  • Koen Caminada

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  • Kees Goudswaard

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Abstract

Many countries have tax facilities for pension savings. These facilities are often associated with the application of the cash-flow treatment of pensions: pension contributions are tax-exempt, capital income of pension funds is tax-exempt, and pension benefits are taxed, but usually at a relatively low rate. This paper investigates the revenue effects of a cash-flow tax regime for pension savings by full present-value calculations. A comprehensive income tax system is used as a benchmark. We present an empirical analysis for the Netherlands as a typical example of a country with funded pensions. Our calculations show that current taxation of pensions implies a major tax revenue loss. For the year 2003, we estimate a fiscal pension subsidy of 1.4% to 1.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2008

Suggested Citation

  • Koen Caminada & Kees Goudswaard, 2008. "Revenue Effects of Tax Facilities for Pension Savings," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 36(2), pages 233-246, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:36:y:2008:i:2:p:233-246 DOI: 10.1007/s11293-008-9114-1
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11293-008-9114-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pablo AntolĂ­n & Alain de Serres & Christine de la Maisonneuve, 2004. "Long-Term Budgetary Implications of Tax-Favoured Retirement Plans," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 393, OECD Publishing.
    2. Bovenberg, A L, 2003. "Financing Retirement in the European Union," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(6), pages 713-734, November.
    3. Casper van Ewijk & Nick Draper & Harry ter Rele & Ed Westerhout, 2006. "Ageing and the sustainability of Dutch public finances," CPB Special Publication 61, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    4. Koen Caminada & Kees Goudswaard, 1996. "Progression and revenue effects of income tax reform," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(1), pages 57-66, January.
    5. Philip Booth & Deborah Cooper, 2002. "The tax treatment of UK defined contribution pension schemes," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 23(1), pages 77-104, March.
    6. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2005. "Europe's Demographic Deficit," Munich Reprints in Economics 934, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    7. David A. Wise, 2005. "Facing the age wave and economic policy: fixing public pension systems with healthcare in the wings," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(1), pages 5-34, April.
    8. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frederiksen, Anders & Halliday, Timothy J. & Koch, Alexander K., 2010. "What Do We Work For? An Anatomy of Pre- and Post-Tax Earnings Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 5298, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pension saving; Tax treatment; Tax revenue loss; E62; H24; H55;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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