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Mortality by socio-economic class and its impact on the retirement schemes: How to render the systems fairer?

Jennifer Garcia

Anca-Stefania Jijiie, Jennifer Alonso-García and Séverine Arnold (-Gaille) 

Abstract: Many OECD countries have addressed the issue of increased longevity by mainly increasing the retirement age. However, this kind of reforms may lead to substantial transfers from those with shorter lifespans to those that will live longer than the average, as they do not necessarily take into account the socio-economic differences in mortality. The contribution of our paper is therefore twofold. Firstly, we illustrate how both a Defined Benefit and a Notional Defined Contribution Pay-As-You-Go scheme can put the lower social economic classes at a disadvantage, when compared to the actuarially fair pensions. In contrast to that, higher classes experience a gain. This is due to the fact that mortality rates per socio-economic class are not considered by either scheme. Consequently, we propose a model that determines the parameters for each scheme and class which would render the pensions fairer even when no socio-economic mortality differences are considered.

Keywords: retirement age, pay-as-you-go, public pensions, adequacy, fairness, class-specific parameters

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