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The Decline of Defined Benefit Retirement Plans and Asset Flows

In: Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment

  • James M. Poterba
  • Steven F. Venti
  • David A. Wise

Demographic change can have an important effect on the stock of assets held in defined benefit pension plans. This paper projects the impact of changes in the age structure of the U.S. population between 2005 and 2040 on the stock of assets held by these plans. It projects the contributions to and withdrawals from these plans. These projections are combined with estimates of the future evolution of assets in 401(k)-like plans to describe the prospective impact of demographic change on the stock of assets in retirement plans. Information on demography-linked changes in asset demand is a critical input to evaluating the potential impact of population aging on asset returns.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Jeffrey R. Brown & Jeffrey B. Liebman & David A. Wise, 2009. "Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brow08-1, May.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 4549.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:4549
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Ludwig, Alexander & Winter, Joachim, 2001. "Aging, pension reform, and capital flows: A multi-country simulation model," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 01-08, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    2. John Geanakoplos & Michael Magill & Martine Quinzii, 2002. "Demography and the Long-run Predictability of the Stock Market," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1380, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    3. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2008. "New Estimates of the Future Path of 401(k) Assets," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 22, pages 43-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2005. "The importance of default options for retirement saving outcomes: evidence from the United States," CeRP Working Papers 43, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
    5. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2006. "On the consequences of demographic change for rates of returns to capital, and the distribution of wealth and welfare," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/18, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    6. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2001. "The Transition to Personal Accounts and Increasing Retirement Wealth: Macro and Micro Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Robin Brooks, 2002. "Asset-Market Effects of the Baby Boom and Social-Security Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 402-406, May.
    8. Daniel Bergstresser & Mihir A. Desai & Joshua Rauh, 2004. "Earnings Manipulation and Managerial Investment Decisions: Evidence from Sponsored Pension Plans," NBER Working Papers 10543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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