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Optimal savings for retirement: The role of individual accounts and disaster expectations

  • Le Blanc, Julia
  • Scholl, Almuth

We employ a life-cycle model with income risk to analyze how tax-deferred individual accounts affect households' savings for retirement. We consider voluntary accounts as opposed to mandatory accounts with minimum contribution rates. We contrast add-on accounts with carve-out accounts that partly replace social security contributions. Quantitative results suggest that making add-on accounts mandatory has adverse welfare effects across income groups. Carve-out accounts generate welfare gains for high and middle income earners but welfare losses for low income earners. In the presence of rare stock market disasters, individual accounts with default portfolio allocation crowd out direct stockholding and substantially reduce welfare.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2011,33.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:201133
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  1. De Menil, Georges & Murtin, Fabrice & Sheshinski, Eytan, 2006. "Planning for the optimal mix of paygo tax and funded savings," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 1-25, March.
  2. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Financial literacy and retirement preparedness: Evidence and implications for financial education programs," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/15, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Francisco Gomes & Alexander Michaelides & Valery Polkovnichenko, 2009. "Optimal Savings with Taxable and Tax-Deferred Accounts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(4), pages 718-735, October.
  4. Sule Alan, 2005. "Entry Costs and Stock Market Participation Over the Life Cycle," Working Papers 2005_1, York University, Department of Economics.
  5. Love, David A., 2007. "What can the life-cycle model tell us about 401(k) contributions and participation?," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(02), pages 147-185, July.
  6. Laurent E. Calvet & John Y. Campbell & Paolo Sodini, 2007. "Down or Out: Assessing the Welfare Costs of Household Investment Mistakes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 707-747, October.
  7. Gopi Shah Goda & John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2011. "What Explains Changes in Retirement Plans during the Great Recession?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 29-34, May.
  8. Carroll, Gabriel D. & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David I. & Madrian, Brigitte & Metrick, Andrew, 2009. "Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions," Scholarly Articles 4686776, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Mariacristina De Nardi & Selahattin Imrohoglu & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998. "Projected U.S. demographics and social security," Working Paper Series WP-98-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. Pries, Michael J., 2007. "Social Security reform and intertemporal smoothing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 25-54, January.
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