IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Criteria for the Optimal Design of a Social Security Retirement System


  • Robert L. Brown


This paper discusses a series of selection points in the design and financing of social security retirement systems. For each criterion, the paper lists and discusses advantages and disadvantages of the options available. The selection points include (1) Funded versus PAYGO; (2) Minimum benefits, Demogrant or Welfare; (3) Progressive versus Regressive; (4) Voluntary versus Mandatory; (5) Individual Accounts versus Commingling of Risk (6) Public versus Private sourcing; (7) Automatic Balancing Mechanisms; (8) System Risk Diversification. It is the sincere hope of the author that this discussion will create even more debate of the issues surrounding these important selection criteria which, in turn, will result in better social security retirement systems for all.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert L. Brown, 2010. "Criteria for the Optimal Design of a Social Security Retirement System," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 266, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:266

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & Hiu Man Chan & Sofia Cheidvasser & John Rust, 2004. "How large is the bias in self-reported disability?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 649-670.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Social Security design and financing; Funded pay-as-you-go; Individual Accounts; Automatic Balancing Mechanisms;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:266. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.