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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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File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/54985/1/684345315.pdf
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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. Gabriel D. Carroll & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2009. "Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1639-1674, November.
  2. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia Mitchell, 2006. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Preparedness: Evidence and Implications for Financial Education Programs," Working Papers wp144, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  3. Calvet, Laurent E. & Campbell, John Y. & Sodini, Paolo, 2006. "Down or Out: Assessing The Welfare Costs of Household Investment Mistakes," Working Paper Series 195, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  4. Georges de Menil & Eytan Sheshinski, 2004. "Planning for the Optimal Mix of Paygo Tax and Funded Savings," DELTA Working Papers 2004-15, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  5. Pries, Michael J., 2007. "Social Security reform and intertemporal smoothing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 25-54, January.
  6. 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.
  7. Sule Alan, 2005. "Entry costs and stock market participation over the life cycle," IFS Working Papers W05/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Mariacristina De Nardi & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Thomas J. Sargent, 1999. "Projected U.S. Demographics and Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 575-615, July.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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