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Pension Reform in Germany: The Impact on Retirement Decisions

  • Axel Borsch-Supan
  • Barbara Berkel
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9913.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9913.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2003
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    Publication status: published as Berkel, Barbara and Axel Borsch-Supan. "Pension Reform in Germany: The Impact on Retirement Decisions." FinanzArchiv 60, 3 (2004): 393-421.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9913
    Note: AG PE
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    1. Palmer, Edward, 2000. "The Swedish pension reform model : framework and issues," Social Protection Discussion Papers 23086, The World Bank.
    2. repec:crr:crrwps:2003-04 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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 173-78, May.
    7. Simone Kohnz & Reinhold Schnabel, 2002. "Micro Modeling of Retirement Decisions in Germany," MEA discussion paper series 02020, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    8. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Sikandar Siddiqui, 1997. "The pension incentive to retire: Empirical evidence for West Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 463-486.
    10. Coile Courtney, 2004. "Retirement Incentives and Couples' Retirement Decisions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, July.
    11. 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.
    12. Rust, J., 1994. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Working papers 9430, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    13. 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 F24-45, February.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
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