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When and How to Subsidize Tax-Favored Retirement Accounts?

Author

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  • Andras Simonovits

    () (Institute of Economics - Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Department of Economics - CEU, Mathematical Institute - Budapest University of Technology)

Abstract

When and how to subsidize tax-favored pension accounts? To defend myopic workers against themselves, the government introduces a mandatory system but to help savers, it adds taxfavored retirement accounts. If the mandatory system is progressive, then a proportional voluntary system can beneficially dampen the redistribution. If the mandatory system is proportional, then a progressive voluntary system may raise the old-age consumption of the lower-paid. But if both the mandatory and the voluntary systems are proportional and the ceiling is high (as is the case in Hungary), then the latter does not diminish the tension of the mandatory system.

Suggested Citation

  • Andras Simonovits, 2009. "When and How to Subsidize Tax-Favored Retirement Accounts?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0902, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:0902
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2004. "For Better or for Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior," NBER Chapters,in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 81-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Richard Disney, 2004. "Are contributions to public pension programmes a tax on employment?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(39), pages 267-311, July.
    3. Diamond, Peter & Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Quasi-hyperbolic discounting and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1839-1872, September.
    4. Tonin, Mirco, 2011. "Minimum wage and tax evasion: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1635-1651.
    5. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan S. Skinner, 1996. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Saving Incentives," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 53540.
    6. James Sefton & Justin vandeVen & Martin Weale, 2008. "Means Testing Retirement Benefits: fostering equity or discouraging savings?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 556-590, April.
    7. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan S. Skinner, 1996. "Assessing the Effectiveness of Saving Incentives," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 73-90, Fall.
    8. Bernheim, B. Douglas, 2002. "Taxation and saving," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 1173-1249 Elsevier.
    9. Feldstein, Martin S, 1987. "Should Social Security Benefits Be Means Tested?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 468-484, June.
    10. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1996. "How Retirement Saving Programs Increase Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 91-112, Fall.
    11. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Schunk, Daniel, 2008. "Saving incentives, old-age provision and displacement effects: evidence from the recent German pension reform," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 295-319, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andras Simonovits, 2009. "Hungarian Pension System and its Reform," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0908, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    2. Andras Simonovits, 2013. "A family of simple paternalistic transfer models," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1324, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    mandatory pensions; tax-favored retirement accounts; voluntary contributions; subsidies;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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