Between goals and expectations. Essays on pensions and retirement
This thesis consists of five chapters on various topics related to pensions and aging. The consequences of population aging and the reforms to cope with them, especially to ensure the long-term sustainability of pension systems, are subject to heated public debate. Such controversy is understandable, since pension reforms require individuals to adjust their plans and expectations concerning the use and availability of their income after retirement, an entitlement many believed to be certain. Expectations and uncertainty play important roles in the research described in the following chapters. The first two papers, chapters 2 and 3, describe expectations about pensions and their relationship with well-being and analyze the quality of the data. Chapter 4 focuses on mortality rather than pension expectations and investigates approaches to analyze beliefs held by survey respondents under minimal assumptions. The final two chapters do not concern expectations directly, but do relate to people’s subjective ideas about retirement. Chapter 5 analyzes how much individuals want to spend after they retire and the extent to which they can expect to afford those expenditures. Finally, chapter 6 shows that participation in a survey about consumption during retirement led households to save less on average.