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Optimal Pension Design in General Equlibrium

Listed author(s):
  • Fehr, Hans
  • Uhde, Johannes

The present paper aims to quantify efficiency properties of real world social security systems of various institutional designs in order to identify an optimal pension design. Starting from a benchmark economy without social security, we introduce alternative pension systems and compare the costs arising from liquidity constraints as well as labor and savings distortions versus the benefits from insurance provision against income and lifespan uncertainty. Our findings highlight strong efficiency losses arising from both means-testing pension benefits against private assets and restricting the contribution base while indicating a positive impact of means-testing flat benefits against earnings-related benefits within pension systems resting on several tiers. Furthermore, our results suggest that the negative correlation between pension progressivity and pension generosity may be justified on efficiency grounds. In our model a single-tier universal earnings-related pension system yields the highest efficiency gains dominating flat benefits as well as two-tier systems of any form.

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File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/62024/1/VfS_2012_pid_319.pdf
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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century with number 62024.

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Date of creation: 2012
Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc12:62024
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/
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  1. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Paola Profeta, 2007. "The Redistributive Design of Social Security Systems," Working Papers 2007-07, FEDEA.
  2. Glenn R. Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, "undated". "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 3-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  3. James Sefton, 2003. "Social Security Design in the UK: What is optimal?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(2), pages 121-151, June.
  4. Helmuth Cremer & Jean-Marie Lozachmeur & Pierre Pestieau, 2008. "Social Desirability of Earnings Tests," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 114-134, 05.
  5. András Simonovits, 2006. "Optimal Design of Pension Rule with Flexible Retirement: The Two-Type Case," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 89(3), pages 197-222, December.
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  7. Kudrna, George & Woodland, Alan, 2011. "An inter-temporal general equilibrium analysis of the Australian age pension means test," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 61-79, March.
  8. Matsen, E. & Thogersen, O., 2001. "Designing Social Security - A Portfolio Choice Approach," Papers 21/2001, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  9. Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen Zeldes, 2000. "Do the rich save more?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-286, April.
  11. James Sefton & Justin vandeVen & Martin Weale, 2008. "Means Testing Retirement Benefits: fostering equity or discouraging savings?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 556-590, 04.
  12. Kallweit, Manuel & Fehr, Hans & Kindermann, Fabian, 2011. "Should pensions be progressive? Yes, at least in Germany!," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48708, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  13. Koethenbuerger, Marko & Poutvaara, Panu & Profeta, Paola, 2005. "Why Are More Redistributive Social Security Systems Smaller? A Median Voter Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 1831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2011. "Myopia, redistribution and pensions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 165-175, February.
  15. Hans Fehr & Christian Habermann & Fabian Kindermann, 2006. "Social Security with Rational and Hyperbolic Consumers," Working Papers 010, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
  16. Simonovits, Andr S, 2003. "Designing optimal linear rules for flexible retirement," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(03), pages 273-293, November.
  17. Hans Fehr & Christian Habermann, 2005. "Risk Sharing and Efficiency Implications of Progressive Pension Arrangements," DNB Working Papers 064, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  18. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-396, March.
  19. Shinichi Nishiyama & Kent Smetters, 2008. "The Optimal Design of Social Security Benefits," Working Papers wp197, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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