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Ageing populations, retirement incomes and public policy: what really matters

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  • Littlewood, Michael

Abstract

When setting public policies on retirement incomes, governments should focus on objectives they have a unique capacity to influence. Only governments can reliably eliminate poverty in old age, level the tax and regulatory playing fields for financial service providers/savers and gather impeccable, deep data. They can also help citizens to understand the things that really matter to individual saving decisions. Governments should avoid trying to influence or direct private provision for retirement by tax breaks or compulsion (‘hard’ or ‘soft’). That those common interventions seem not to work is only one of their many shortcomings. Then, citizens and employers should make their own decisions about financial provision for retirement.

Suggested Citation

  • Littlewood, Michael, 2014. "Ageing populations, retirement incomes and public policy: what really matters," MPRA Paper 56232, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56232
    as

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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/56232/1/MPRA_paper_56232.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Trinh Le & Grant Scobie & John Gibson, 2009. "Are Kiwis saving enough for retirement? Evidence from SOFIE," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 3-19.
    2. Stephen Cecchetti & Enisse Kharroubi, 2012. "Reassessing the impact of finance on growth," BIS Working Papers 381, Bank for International Settlements.
    3. Juan Ayuso & Juan F. Jimeno & Ernesto Villanueva, 2007. "The effects of the introduction of tax incentives on retirement savings," Working Papers 0724, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    4. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia Mitchell, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning: New Evidence from the Rand American Life Panel," Working Papers wp157, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    5. Trinh Le & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2012. "Wealth and saving in New Zealand: evidence from the longitudinal survey of family, income and employment," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 93-118, November.
    6. J.C. Herbert Emery & Jesse A. Matheson, 2012. "Should income transfers be targeted or universal? Insights from public pension influences on elderly mortality in Canada, 1921-1966," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 45(1), pages 247-269, February.
    7. Roger Hurnard, 2005. "The effect of New Zealand Superannuation eligibility age on the labour force participation of older people," Treasury Working Paper Series 05/09, New Zealand Treasury.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    retirement incomes; public policy; universal pension; private provision;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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