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Pension Reform in Germany: The Impact on Retirement Decisions

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  • Axel Borsch-Supan
  • Barbara Berkel

Abstract

The financing problems beleaguering the public pension system have again shifted the spotlight onto the retirement age. This paper examines the impact of various reform options on the actual retirement choices of older workers. The paper focuses in particular on the long-term implications of the changes implemented in pension legislation since 1992 and the reform options discussed by the German Social Security Reform Commission installed in 2002, the so called R?rup Commission'. Our simulations show that the early-retirement pension adjustment factors introduced by the 1992 pension reform will, in the long term, raise the average effective age of retirement for men by somewhat less than two years. The across-the-board two-year increase in all the relevant age limits proposed by the R?rup Commission' would raise the effective average age of retirement of men by about eight months. If the actuarial adjustment factor is increased from 3.6% to 6% per year, the effective average retirement age rises by almost two years. The effects are considerably weaker for women.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9913
    Note: AG PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sikandar Siddiqui, 1997. "The pension incentive to retire: Empirical evidence for West Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 463-486.
    2. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2001. "Incentive Effects of Social Security Under an Uncertain Disability Option," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 01-42, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    3. James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1990. "The Pension Inducement to Retire: An Option Value Analysis," NBER Chapters,in: Issues in the Economics of Aging, pages 205-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1997. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 781-832, July.
    6. David M. Cutler & Louise Sheiner, 1998. "Demographics and Medical Care Spending: Standard and Non-Standard Effects," NBER Working Papers 6866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Borsch-Supan, Axel & Schnabel, Reinhold, 1998. "Social Security and Declining Labor-Force Participation in Germany," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 173-178, May.
    9. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 2000. "A Model under Siege: A Case Study of the German Retirement Insurance System," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(461), pages 24-45, February.
    10. Axel Borsch-Supan & Reinhold Schnabel, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in Germany," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 135-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Axel Börsch-Supan & Reinhold Schnabel & Simone Kohnz & Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2004. "Micro-Modeling of Retirement Decisions in Germany," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Micro-Estimation, pages 285-344 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. repec:crr:crrwps:2003-04 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Palmer, Edward, 2000. "The Swedish pension reform model : framework and issues," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 23086, The World Bank.
    14. Axel H. Boersch-Supan, 2001. "Incentive Effects of Social Security under an Uncertain Disability Option," NBER Chapters,in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 281-310 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 2000. "Incentive effects of social security on labor force participation: evidence in Germany and across Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 25-49, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schleife, Katrin, 2004. "Computer Use and the Employment Status of Older Workers: An Analysis Based on Individual Data," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-62, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Marco Caliendo & Jens Hogenacker, 2012. "The German labor market after the Great Recession: successful reforms and future challenges," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-24, December.
    3. Ekaterina A. Klepikova, 2015. "Estimating the Relationship between Health and Employment of Russian People in Pensionable Age," HSE Working papers WP BRP 100/EC/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. 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.
    5. Allard Bruinshoofd & Sybille Grob, 2006. "Do changes in pension incentives affect retirement? A stated preferences approach to Dutch retirement consideration," DNB Working Papers 115, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    6. Lothar Essig, 2005. "Household Saving in Germany: Results from SAVE 2001-2003," MEA discussion paper series 05083, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    7. Timm Bönke & Carsten Schröder & Katharina Schulte, 2010. "Incomes and Inequality in the Long Run: The Case of German Elderly," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 487-510, November.
    8. Frank van Erp & Niels Vermeer & Daniël van Vuuren, 2013. "Non-financial determinants of retirement," CPB Discussion Paper 243, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    9. Karsten Hank, 2004. "Effects of Early Life Family Events on Women’s Late Life Labour Market Behaviour: An Analysis of the Relationship between Childbearing and Retirement in Western Germany," MEA discussion paper series 04047, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    10. Rob Euwals & Daniel Vuuren & Ronald Wolthoff, 2010. "Early Retirement Behaviour in the Netherlands: Evidence From a Policy Reform," De Economist, Springer, vol. 158(3), pages 209-236, September.
    11. Christina Benita Wilke, 2008. "On the feasibility of notional defined contribution systems: The German case," MEA discussion paper series 08165, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    12. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2003. "What are NDC Pension Systems? What Do They Bring to Reform Strategies?," MEA discussion paper series 03042, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    13. Axel Boersch-Supan & Christina B. Wilke, 2004. "The German Public Pension System: How it Was, How it Will Be," NBER Working Papers 10525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Essig, Lothar, 2005. "Household saving in Germany : results from SAVE 2001 - 2003," Papers 05-23, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    15. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Essig, Lothar, 2005. "Personal assets and pension reform : how well prepared are the Germans?," Papers 05-19, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    16. Gijs Dekkers, 2007. "The financial implications of working longer: An Application of a Micro-Economic Model of Retirement in Belgium," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 1(1), pages 10-25.
    17. Christina Benita Wilke, 2005. "Rates of Return of the German PAYG System - How they can be measured and how they will develop," MEA discussion paper series 05097, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    18. Axel Boersch-Supan, 2006. "European Welfare State Regimes and Their Generosity Toward the Elderly," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_479, Levy Economics Institute.

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    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General

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