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Pension funding and individual accounts in economies with life-cyclers and myopes


  • Hans Fehr

    () (University of Würzburg)

  • Fabian Kindermann

    () (University of Würzburg)


The present paper Studies the growth and efficiency consequences of pension funding with individual retirement accounts in a general equilibrium overlapping generations model with idiosyncratic lifespan and labor income uncertainty. We distinguish between economies with rational and hyperbolic consumers and compare the consequences of voluntary and mandatory retirement plans. Three major findings are derived in our study: First, we quantify the commitment effect of social security for myopic individuals by roughly 1 percent of aggregate resources. It is possible to recapture this commitment technology in IRAs, if those are annuitized. Second, despite the fact that our consumers have an operative bequest motive, the welfare gain from the (implicit) longevity insurance of the pension system is significant and amounts to roughly 0.5 percent of aggregate resources. However, mandatory annuitization reduces unintended bequests so that future generations are significantly hurt. Finally, our results highlight the importance of liquidity effects for social security analysis. These efficiency gains are only attainable if accounts are voluntary and not mandatory.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Fehr & Fabian Kindermann, 2009. "Pension funding and individual accounts in economies with life-cyclers and myopes," Working Papers 2009/23, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2009/11/doc2009-23

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2011. "Myopia, redistribution and pensions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 165-175, February.
    2. Oliwia Komada & Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2017. "Welfare effects of fiscal policy in reforming the pension system," GRAPE Working Papers 11, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    3. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2010. "Booms, Recessions And Financial Turmoil: A Fresh Look At Investment Decisions Under Cyclical Uncertainty," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(s1), pages 290-317, July.
    4. Jan Hagemejer & Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2013. "Efficiency of the pension reform: the welfare effects of various fiscal closures," Working Papers 2013-23, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    5. Kumru, Cagri S. & Thanopoulos, Athanasios C., 2011. "Social security reform with self-control preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 886-899, August.
    6. Kallweit, Manuel & Fehr, Hans & Kindermann, Fabian, 2011. "Should pensions be progressive? Yes, at least in Germany!," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48708, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Fehr, Hans & Kallweit, Manuel & Kindermann, Fabian, 2017. "Families and social security," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 30-56.
    8. Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz & Marcin Bielecki, 2017. "Inequality in an OLG economy with heterogeneous cohorts and pension systems," GRAPE Working Papers 21, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    9. Igor Fedotenkov & Lex Meijdam, 2013. "Crisis and Pension System Design in the EU: International Spillover Effects Via Factor Mobility and Trade," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(2), pages 175-197, June.
    10. Bielecki, Marcin & Goraus, Karolina & Hagemejer, Jan & Makarski, Krzysztof & Tyrowicz, Joanna, 2015. "Small assumptions (can) have a large bearing: evaluating pension system reforms with OLG models," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 210-221.
    11. Fehr, Hans, 2016. "CGE modeling social security reforms," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 475-494.
    12. Cagri Seda Kumru & Athanasios C. Thanopoulos, 2009. "Social Security Reform and Temptation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2778, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. 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.
    14. Marcin Bielecki & Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Waniek, 2015. "Inequalities in an OLG economy with heterogeneity within cohorts and pension systems," Working Papers 2015-16, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    15. Fehr, Hans & Kallweit, Manuel & Kindermann, Fabian, 2013. "Should pensions be progressive?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 94-116.
    16. Van de Ven, Justin, 2011. "Do Defined Contribution Pensions Correct for Short-Sighted Savings Decisions? Evidence from the UK," Papers WP399, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    17. Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Bielecki, 2016. "Reforming retirement age in DB and DC pension systems in an aging OLG economy with heterogenous agents," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, December.
    18. 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.
    19. Fedotenkov, I., 2012. "Pensions and ageing in a globalizing world. International spillover effects via trade and factor mobility," Other publications TiSEM 8830bc21-4138-4479-8459-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    More about this item


    individual retirement accounts; annuities; stochastic general equilibrium; hyperbolic consumers;

    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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