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Sustainable social security: four options

  • Sagiri Kitao

This paper presents four policy options to make Social Security sustainable under the coming demographic shift: 1) increase payroll taxes by 6 percentage points, 2) reduce the replacement rates of the benefit formula by one-third, 3) raise the normal retirement age from sixty-six to seventy-three, or 4) means-test the benefits and reduce them one-to-one with income. While all four policies achieve the same goal, their economic outcomes differ significantly. Options 2 and 3 encourage own savings, and capital stock is more than 10 percent higher than in the other two options. The payroll tax increase in option 1 discourages work effort, but means-testing the benefits as outlined in option 4 yields the worst labor disincentives, especially among the elderly.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 505.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:505
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  14. John Bailey Jones & Eric French, 2010. "The Effects of Health Insurance and Self-Insurance on Retirement Behavior," Discussion Papers 10-10, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  15. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Kent Smetters & Jan Walliser, 1999. "Privatizing Social Security in the U.S. -- Comparing the Options," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 532-574, July.
  16. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Sagiri Kitao, 2012. "Social Security Reforms: Benefit Claiming, Labor Force Participation, and Long-Run Sustainability," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 96-127, July.
  17. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joseph P. Lupton, 2007. "To Leave or Not to Leave: The Distribution of Bequest Motives," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 207-235.
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