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Pensions, Social Security, Wealth and Lifetime Earnings: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study

Author

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  • William G. Gale
  • John W.R. Phillips

    () (University of Michigan Retirement Research Center)

Abstract

Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we calculate the relationship between socio-economic status and a utility based measure of annuity value. We find considerable variation between groups once we take account of not only socio-economic differences in mortality, but also pre-annuitized wealth and longevity risk pooling in marriage. Using HRS data on subjective survival probabilities, we then construct a subjective life table for each individual in the HRS. We show that these tables vary appropriately between groups and aggregate closely to group level averages. We calculate the value each household would place on annuitization, based on the husband and wife's subjective life tables, and the household's degree of risk-aversion and proportion of pre-annuitized wealth. A significant minority would perceive themselves as suffering a net loss from mandatory annuitization.

Suggested Citation

  • William G. Gale & John W.R. Phillips, 2006. "Pensions, Social Security, Wealth and Lifetime Earnings: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-14, Center for Retirement Research, revised Aug 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2006-14
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    File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/working-papers/pensions-social-security-wealth-and-lifetime-earnings-evidence-from-the-health-and-retirement-study/
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Blanchet & Yves Dubois & Anthony Marino & Muriel Roger, 2016. "Patrimoine privé et retraite en France," Revue française d'économie, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 207-244.
    2. Thomas Blanchet & Yves Dubois & Anthony Marino & Muriel Roger, 2016. "Patrimoine privé et retraite en France," Working Papers halshs-01292412, HAL.

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    Keywords

    pensions; social security lifetime; earnings;

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