Future Social Security Financing Alternatives and National Saving
While the short-run financial status of Social Security is secure, its long-run financial status is very uncertain. The retirement and disability part of the system (OASDI) is projected to be in long-run actuarial deficit under the Social Security Administration's intermediate economic and demographic f9recasts. Hospital Insurance (HI) is projected to run a large deficit, beginning in the 1990s. OASDI is projected to accrue a very large surplus over the next thirty years, peaking at almost 30% of GNP. Social Security has never accrued a surplus this large; it may well be dissipated for other purposes, such as to bail out HI, fund other programs, raise benefits, or cut taxes. These alternatives may affect net national saving, directly because Social Security surpluses or deficits are part of government sector saving and indirectly through effects on private saving or the non-Social Security part of the federal government budget. This paper documents how various systematic deviations from, or return to, pay-as-you-go finance of the Social Security system may affect net national saving. For example, under base case assumptions with respect to the non-Social Security deficit, a constant net private saving rate of 6%, and long-run budget balance in the state and local government sector, the Social Security deficit offsets 40% of other net national saving over the Social Security Administration's 75-year projection period. In the first 25-year sub-period, the Social Security surplus adds one-sixth to other net national saving; in the second, it offsets almost one-half; and in the third, it offsets five-sixths of other net national saving. Of course, private saving may respond to changes in Social Security's funding as may the non-Social Security balance in the federal budget. The paper presents several alternative scenarios such as benefits increasing or taxes falling during the OASDI surplus period, various stylized rules concerning the non-Social Security budget deficit, and separate balancing of HI via outlay reductions or tax increases. The results indicate that OASDI may effect net national saving substantially. For example, if benefits ratchet up during what would have been the period of the OASDI surplus, the OASDI system may subsequently offset virtually all of remaining net national saving. On the other hand, if HI is brought into balance and the OASDI surplus is allowed to accrue, Social Security will offset only about 4% of other net national saving. Changes in private saving may accentuate or ameliorate the swings in the net national saving rate generated by the future financing of OASDHI, but the alternative financing options will be important determinant of net national saving, and therefore of private domestic investment and international capital flows.
|Date of creation:||May 1987|
|Publication status:||published as Boskin, M. "Future Social Security Financing Alternatives and National Saving," in Social Security and Private Pensions: Providing for Retirement inthe Twenty-first Century, ed. by Susan M. Wachter, Lexington Books, 1988, pp. 111-143.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002.
Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324
- Martin Feldstein & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Social Security," NBER Working Papers 8451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-329, June.
- Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael J. Boskin & Douglas J. Puffert, 1987. "Social Security and the American Family," NBER Working Papers 2117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "Issues in National Savings Policy," NBER Working Papers 1710, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael J. Boskin & Marcy Avrin & Kenneth Cone, 1980. "Modeling Alternative Solutions to the Long-Run Social Security Funding Problem," NBER Working Papers 0583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael J. Boskin & Marcy Avrin & Kenneth Cone, 1983. "Modeling Alternative Solutions to the Long-Run Social Security Funding Problem," NBER Chapters,in: Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis, pages 211-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Boskin, Michael J. & Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Shoven, John B., 1985. "Personal Security Accounts: A Proposal for Fundamental Social Security Reform," CEPR Publications 244431, Stanford University, Center for Economic Policy Research.
- Boskin, Michael J. & Kotlikoff, Lawrence J. & Puffert, Douglas J. & Shoven, John B., 1986. "Social Security: A Financial Appraisal Across and Within Generations," CEPR Publications 244432, Stanford University, Center for Economic Policy Research.
- Michael J. Boskin & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Douglas J. Puffert & John B. Shoven, 1986. "Social Security: A Financial Appraisal Across and Within Generations," NBER Working Papers 1891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Thompson, Lawrence H, 1983. "The Social Security Reform Debate," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 1425-1467, December. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2256. 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: ()
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.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.