Working Paper No. 580

The Gains from Pension Reform

Published: May 23, 2002Pages: 65Keywords: Social Security; FundingJEL-codes: H55

The Gains from Pension Reform Assar Lindbeck and Mats Persson


We characterize pension systems along three dimensions: 1) actuarial vs. non-actuarial, 2) funded vs. pay-as-you-go, 3) defined-contribution vs. defined-benefit. Increasing the degree of actuarial fairness, by strengthening the linkage between contributions and benefits, reduces labor market distortions and may increase welfare in a Pareto-efficiency sense. Increasing the degree of funding implies mainly a redistribution of income among generations, although a partial shift to funding also provides better risk-return combinations for individuals. Shifting from defined-benefit to defined-contribution schemes (with fixed contribution rates) shifts the income risk from workers and taxpayers to pensioners.

Assar Lindbeck

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Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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