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Socio-Economic Differences in Mortality: Implications for Pensions Policy

Listed author(s):
  • Edward R. Whitehouse


  • Asghar Zaidi


The analyses included in the report show that there are big socio-economic differences in mortality, especially for men, and they appear to have become bigger over time. The report discusses implications of mortality differentials for five major areas of pension policy: the progressivity of the pension system, the pension eligibility age, the retirement incentives, future pension expenditures and private pensions. The empirical work shows that the mortality differentials reduce progressivity in pension systems. Moreover, there is empirical evidence that raising retirement age is not more unfair to socio-economic groups with lower life expectancy. Les analyses présentées ici montrent qu’il existe de fortes différences socioéconomiques en termes de mortalité, surtout chez les hommes, et qu’elles se sont apparemment accentuées au fil du temps. Ce document examine les conséquences des écarts de mortalité pour cinq grands aspects de la politique de retraite : la progressivité du système de retraite, l’âge d’ouverture des droits à pension, les incitations à la retraite, les dépenses de retraite futures et les pensions privées. Les travaux empiriques font apparaître que les écarts de mortalité réduisent la progressivité des régimes de retraite. De plus, des données d’observation montrent que le relèvement de l’âge de la retraite n’est pas plus pénalisant pour les catégories socioéconomiques ayant une espérance de vie plus courte.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers with number 71.

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Date of creation: 05 Dec 2008
Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:71-en
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