Profitability Risks of Fully Funded Old-Age Pension Systems
International studies call for converting the old-age pension scheme from the pay-as-you-go system to a fully funded system. Instead of immediately paying out collected contributions to old-age pensioners, as is the case in a pay-as-you-go scheme, income from contributions is to be invested in pension funds and paid out only at the time of retirement by way of a life annuity. A complete changeover to the fully funded system will cause substantial conversion costs. All old-age pension entitlements by insurees need to be refunded by the state either in cash or by issuing government bonds. This would bring to the fore the national debt hidden in the pension insurance system. The amount of entitlements, however, does not change by conversion to the fully funded system. Depending on whether redemption of pension claims is advanced or delayed, it is possible to redistribute the burden for current and future generations. The burden caused to future generations by the expected ageing of the population can be alleviated by advanced contributions or taxation. The effective yield of contributions paid into the pension insurance system is low for those insured today, but it shows little variation. In contrast, yields from investing in securities are markedly higher. But this gap is linked to a higher risk, i.e., capital investment may produce negative yields for several consecutive years. If Austrian households are rather risk-averse, investment of their pension portfolio in shares will lead to overall welfare loss. The low spread of share ownership and above-average concentration on income-securing measures by the welfare state are indirect indications of the general risk aversion prevailing in Austria.
Ertragsrisken kapitalgedeckter Pensionssysteme; Profitability Risks of Fully Funded Old-Age Pension Systems
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