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Personal assets and pension reform: How well prepared are the Germans?

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  • Axel Börsch-Supan

    ()

  • Lothar Essig

    () (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

Abstract

Demographic change presents major financing problems for the pay-as-you-go pension system. In response to these problems, the 2001 and 2004 German pension reforms reduced the statutory level of benefits from the pay-as-you system. The resulting pension gap is supposed to be filled by funded second and third pillar private pensions. This paper examines the extent to which households are in a position today to close this gap with their personal assets, assuming that they stick to their current saving and asset accumulation behaviour. Four critical factors are relevant to this issue: 1. the anticipated life expectancy, 2. the level of personal assets on retirement 3. the expected age of retirement, and 4. the anticipated interest rate. Our results indicate that about a third of German households will not be able to fill the pension gap unless they were to change their current savings behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Börsch-Supan & Lothar Essig, 2005. "Personal assets and pension reform: How well prepared are the Germans?," MEA discussion paper series 05085, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:05085
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lothar Essig & Anette Reil-Held, 2003. "Chancen und Risiken der "Riester-Renter"," MEA discussion paper series 03035, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    2. Axel Börsch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Anette Reil-Held, 2004. "Hochrechnungsmethoden und Szenarien für gesetzliche und private Renteninformationen," MEA discussion paper series 04049, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    3. Mervyn A. King & Louis Dicks-Mireaux, 1981. "Asset Holdings and the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 0614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Axel Borsch-Supan & Barbara Berkel, 2003. "Pension Reform in Germany: The Impact on Retirement Decisions," NBER Working Papers 9913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2004. "Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Micro-Estimation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub04-1, January.
    6. Reinhard Hujer & Bernd Fitzenberger & Reinhold Schnabel & Thomas E. MaCurdy, 2001. "Testing for uniform wage trends in West-Germany: A cohort analysis using quantile regressions for censored data," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 41-86.
    7. Hans-Martin von Gaudecker, 2004. "Regionale Mortalitätsunterschiede in Baden-Württemberg," MEA discussion paper series 04046, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    8. Hans Fehr & Dirk Kiesewetter & Michael Myßen, 2003. "Die Riester-Rente - ein Flop?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 56(05), pages 5-14, March.
    9. Michael D. Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 2002. "The Predictive Validity of Subjective Probabilities of Survival," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 966-985, October.
    10. King, M A & Dicks-Mireaux, L-D L, 1982. "Asset Holdings and the Life-Cycle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(366), pages 247-267, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Kluth, Sebastian, 2013. "Subjective Life Expectancy and Private Pensions," MEA discussion paper series 201214, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.

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