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Survivor Benefits and the Gender Tax Gap in Public Pension Schemes: Observations from Germany

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  • Martin Werding

Abstract

Since its inception, the traditional form of providing survivor benefits within public pension schemes has lost much of its legitimacy. As a result of fundamental changes in marriage behaviour and the typical division of labour between married spouses, offering non-contributory benefits of this kind could be seen as inequitable. Since these benefits usually substitute for non-derived pension entitlements based on the surviving spouse’s own contributions, they can also lead to incentive effects, especially for married women with some degree of labour-force attachment, that appear to be far from optimal. The present paper highlights this problem referring to institutional details and empirical results related to Germany and shows how it could be resolved by jointly annuitizing a given couple’s pension entitlements.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Werding, 2005. "Survivor Benefits and the Gender Tax Gap in Public Pension Schemes: Observations from Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 1596, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1596
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    1. Robert Fenge & Silke Uebelmesser & Martin Werding, 2006. "On the Optimal Timing of Implicit Social Security Taxes Over the Life Cycle," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(1), pages 68-107, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public pensions; survivor benefits; female labour supply; optimal taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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