Working Paper No. 454

Social Insurance Based on Personal Savings Accounts: A possible reform strategy for overburdened welfare states?

Published: March 1996Pages: 40Keywords: WELFARE STATE; SOCIAL INSURANCEJEL-codes: D60; D63; D69

Social Insurance Based on Personal Savings Accounts: A possible reform strategy for overburdened welfare states? Stefan Fölster


In spite of some cutbacks in entitlements, many welfare states' spending has continuously increased over the past decades, leading to larger tax burdens and often higher marginal tax rates. Proposals for reform often focus on reduced social insurance benefits and more actuarial insurance premia. In this paper it is shown that such reforms may have a smaller potential for reducing the marginal tax rate than commonly assumed, unless they are combined with mandatory personal savings accounts. Social insurance based on personal savings account is compared to other systems in a simple theoretical model and in a simulation within the context of Swedish social insurance. The simulation indicates that marginal tax effects can be reduced significantly by social insurance based on savings accounts without affecting life-tim income distribution much.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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