The design of pension schemes

This paper explores possible alternatives for the current Dutch first pillar pension scheme (AOW). It presents the welfare, labour market, saving and unintended bequest effects of a shift from a Beveridge towards a Bismarck system in which the pension rights depend on the labour market history. The paper focuses on the insurance with the AOW against both longevity and productivity risk. The main conclusion is that a shift of the first pillar pensions from a Beveridge towards a Bismarck system is not necessarily welfare improving from an ex-ante insurance perspective, i.e. before the veil of ignorance is lifted. Moreover, a means test of the rst pillar against wealthincome, which implies a lower AOW when an individual has wealth income and a lower pension premium for everyone, does not improve welfare.

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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