Reforming social security: assessing the effects of alternative funding strategies
Population ageing implies that the large pay-as-you-go social security programmes implemented in many OECD economies will run into severe financial problems. By means of a numerical overlapping generations model, this paper investigates the intergenerational welfare effects of a transition to funded security programmes. Such programmes imply permanent increases in the welfare of the young and unborn generations. It is demonstrated that the size of the welfare gains varies significantly between alternative funding strategies. A nonindividualized funding strategy characterized by increased government asset accumulation triggers considerable welfare gains through increased asset returns in the future. Even larger welfare gains may be realized by an individual funding strategy characterized by increased asset accumulation accompanied by an adoption of actuarial supplementary pensions (i.e. actuarial supplementary pensions combined with a fixed minimum pension) which reduces future tax distortions drastically.