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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Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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