A Value-Based Approach to the Redesign of US State Pension Plans

We explore how the contract values of the various stakeholders of a typical US state civil servants pension fund are affected under the continuation of current policies and under alternative policies, such as changes in contribution, indexation and investment allocation policies. We find that all participant cohorts derive a substantial net benefit from the current pension contract, while all tax-paying cohorts make substantial contributions. The shift in value from tax payers to participants can be reduced substantially by having the latter make larger contributions or making indexation less generous. Under our baseline calibration, and continuation of existing policies, the chances are high that the fund’s assets get depleted in the coming decades.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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