The effect of pension reform on pension-benefit expectations and savings decisions in Japan

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Using the Japanese Study of Aging and Retirement (JSTAR), which is a new Japanese panel survey of people aged 50 and over, we find that more Japanese in their early 50s expect their level of public pension benefits to decline compared with those in their late 50s and early 60s. We also find that recent pension reforms that raised the pensionable age affected the Japanese population by increasing the age at which they expect to claim their benefits by almost the exact same amount as the increase in the pensionable age. The reforms have also decreased the population’s expectations about receiving public pension benefits, although this effect is not necessarily significant. We also find evidence that anxiety about the public pension programme’s future increases private savings.

Keywords: D84; H55; pension reform; savings; subjective expectations; uncertainty

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of International Social Sciences, Yokohama National University, Yokohama, 240-8501, Japan 2: Graduate School of Economics, Nagoya University, Nagoya, 464-8601, Japan

Publication date: May 13, 2014

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