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Preparing for Policy Changes: Social Security Expectations and Pension Scheme Participation

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  • van der Wiel, Karen

    () (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

Western governments are currently contemplating how to adapt their Pay-As-You-Go pension systems so that these remain financially sustainable, even with an aged population. To the extent that policy-makers haven't already adapted their old age social security schemes, an ageing population thus leads to policy uncertainty in first pillar pensions. This paper sheds more light on the relationship between public and private savings by analyzing private pension scheme participation in the presence of such policy uncertainty. To do so, I assess the influence of subjective policy change expectations on voluntary pension scheme participation in the Netherlands. I find that participation in private pension schemes is higher for those who assign a high probability to the dismantlement of old age social security – in terms of lower benefits levels but more so in terms of a higher eligibility age. In addition, subjectively short-lived individuals who believe an eligibility age increase to be more likely than a benefit level cut, participate more. This could be explained by the fact that the relative cost of an eligibility age increase is larger for those who expect to live shorter. Individuals hence do prepare themselves for anticipated policy changes in old age social security and policy uncertainty in social security thus seems to lead to an increase in, or crowding in of, private savings.

Suggested Citation

  • van der Wiel, Karen, 2008. "Preparing for Policy Changes: Social Security Expectations and Pension Scheme Participation," IZA Discussion Papers 3623, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3623
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Euwals, Rob, 2000. "Do Mandatory Pensions Decrease Household Savings? Evidence for the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 113, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    8. Melvin Stephens, 2004. "Job Loss Expectations, Realizations, and Household Consumption Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 253-269, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luc Bissonnette & Arthur van Soest, 2012. "The future of retirement and the pension system: How the public’s expectations vary over time and across socio-economic groups," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-21, December.
    2. van der Wiel, K.M., 2009. "Essays on expectations, power and social security," Other publications TiSEM 6dd265da-685e-4b0e-b38a-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. van Santen, Peter & Alessie, Rob & Kalwij, Adriaan, 2012. "Probabilistic survey questions and incorrect answers: Retirement income replacement rates," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 267-280.
    4. Bissonnette, L., 2012. "Essays on subjective expectations and stated preferences," Other publications TiSEM 71dbcdaf-a4a6-4d55-88af-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Sita Slavov & Devon Gorry & Aspen Gorry & Frank N. Caliendo, 2017. "Social Security and Saving: An Update," NBER Working Papers 23506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Frank N. Caliendo & Aspen Gorry & Sita Slavov, 2015. "The Cost of Uncertainty about the Timing of Social Security Reform," NBER Working Papers 21585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ageing; savings behavior; social security; subjective probabilities; uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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