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Transition to a Fully Funded Pension System: Five Economic Issues

  • Martin Feldstein

This paper provides a relatively nontechnical discussion of the effects of shifting from a pay-as-you-go system of Social Security pensions to a fully funded plan based on individual accounts. The analysis discusses the rationale for such a shift and deals with five common problems: (1) the nature of the transition path; (2) the effect of the shift on national saving and capital accumulation; (3) the rate of return that such accounts would earn; (4) the risks of unfunded and funded systems; and (5) the distributional effects of the shift.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6149.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6149.

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Date of creation: Aug 1997
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Siebert, Horst (ed.) Redesigning Social Security, Institut fur Weltwirtschaft an der Universitat, Kiel. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1998.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6149
Note: AG EFG HC PE
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  1. Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, 1997. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," NBER Working Papers 6002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1998. "The Transition Path in Privatizing Social Security," NBER Chapters, in: Privatizing Social Security, pages 215-264 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1996. "Administrative Costs in Public and Private Retirement Systems," NBER Working Papers 5734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Martin Feldstein, 1996. "The Missing Piece in Policy Analysis: Social Security Reform," NBER Working Papers 5413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1995. "Privatization of Social Security: How It Works and Why It Matters," NBER Working Papers 5330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Martin Feldstein & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Social Security," NBER Working Papers 8451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  8. Martin Feldstein & Philippe Bacchetta, 1991. "National Saving and International Investment," NBER Chapters, in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 201-226 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1997. "The Economics of Prefunding Social Security and Medicare Benefits," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 115-164 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Michael Mussa & Morris Goldstein, 1993. "The integration of world capital markets," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 245-330.
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