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Tax-Favored Retirement Accounts: Are they Efficient in Increasing Savings and Growth?


  • Hans Fehr
  • Christian Habermann
  • Fabian Kindermann


The present paper aims to quantify the macroeconomic and welfare effects of taxfavored retirement accounts. Starting from an equilibrium without saving incentives, we introduce such accounts and compute the new transition path and the resulting long-run equilibrium. Since our overlapping-generations model comprises a detailed progressive tax system, borrowing constraints as well as stochastic income risk, we can compare macroeconomic and liquidity effects, tax distortions and the insurance properties of the policy reform. Our simulations indicate that tax-favored retirement accounts as implemented in many OECD countries will have a significant impact on capital accumulation and wage growth in the long run, but only yield insignificant aggregate efficiency changes. While elderly generations are typically hurt by such a reform, young and future generations benefit. Finally, with respect to the intragenerational redistribution, a subsidy system that includes direct bonus payments might be preferred to a system with pure tax deductions.

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  • Hans Fehr & Christian Habermann & Fabian Kindermann, 2006. "Tax-Favored Retirement Accounts: Are they Efficient in Increasing Savings and Growth?," Working Papers 012, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
  • Handle: RePEc:bav:wpaper:012_kindermann2

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. George Kudrna & Alan D. Woodland, 2013. "Macroeconomic and Welfare Effects of the 2010 Changes to Mandatory Superannuation," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89(287), pages 445-468, December.
    2. Jarkko Harju, 2013. "Voluntary Pension Savings and Tax Incentives: Evidence from Finland," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 69(1), pages 3-29, March.
    3. Hans Fehr & Fabian Kindermann, 2010. "Pension Funding and Individual Accounts in Economies with Life-cyclers and Myopes," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 56(3), pages 404-443, September.
    4. Jarkko Harju, 2009. "Voluntary pension savings: the effects of the finnish tax reform on savers’ behaviour," Working Papers 2009/22, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    5. Hans Fehr & Christian Habermann, 2008. "Private Retirement Savings in Germany: The Structure of Tax Incentives and Annuitization," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 133, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Jukka Lassila & Tarmo Valkonen, 2015. "Longevity Risk and Taxation of Public Pensions," CESifo Working Paper Series 5640, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Balazs Kiraly & Andras Simonovits, 2016. "Saving and taxation in a voluntary pension system: Toward an agent-based model," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1606, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    8. Richard Ochmann, 2014. "Differential income taxation and household asset allocation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(8), pages 880-894, March.
    9. George Kudrna & Alan D. Woodland, 2015. "Progressive Tax Changes to Superannuation in a Lifecycle Framework," CESifo Working Paper Series 5645, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Simonovits, András, 2009. "Az önkéntes nyugdíjrendszer egy egyszerű modellje
      [A simple model of tax-favoured retirement accounts]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(10), pages 851-865.
    11. George Kudrna & Alan Woodland, 2012. "Progressive Tax Changes to Private Pensions in a Life-Cycle Framework," Working Papers 201209, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.
    12. Hans Fehr & Christian Habermann, 2010. "Private retirement savings and mandatory annuitization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(6), pages 640-661, December.
    13. Andras Simonovits, 2009. "A Simple Model of Tax-Favored Retirement Accounts," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0915, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    14. Martin Jacob, 2013. "Capital Gains Taxes and the Realization of Capital Gains and Losses - Evidence from German Income Tax Data," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 69(1), pages 30-56, March.
    15. 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.

    More about this item


    Savings incentives; stochastic general equilibrium model;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies


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