Social security and retirement incentives in Austria

Hofer, Helmut and Koman, Reinhard (2006) Social security and retirement incentives in Austria. Empirica, 33 (5), pp. 285-313. DOI: 10.1007/s10663-006-9018-8

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This paper provides an overview of the interaction between social security and retirement behavior in Austria in the decades up to the on-going reform process. The key question is, how much of the retirement behavior can be attributed to incentive effects of the pension system. We describe the labor market and retirement behavior of the elderly in Austria, survey the key features of the public pension system and finally present the results of a series of simulations aimed at assessing the retirement incentives generated by the pension system. We compute levels and accrual rates of social security wealth and implicit tax rates on continued work according to the method portrayed in Gruber and Wise [Gruber J, Wise D (1999) Social security and retirement around the world. University of Chicago Press, Chicago London]. To some extent, the sharp drop in labor force participation among the elderly must be attributed to major disincentives of the Austrian pension system; the system turns out to provide significant incentives to retire early. Past reforms have reduced the disincentives. Our results, however, show the need to further reform the public pension scheme and to reorient it stronger towards the principle of actuarial fairness.

Item Type: Article in Academic Journal
Keywords: public pensions, retirement incentives, social security wealth
Classification Codes (e.g. JEL): H55, J22, J26
Date Deposited: 20 May 2015 10:40
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2016 14:19
DOI: 10.1007/s10663-006-9018-8
ISSN: 0340-8744 (Print), 1573-6911 (Online)

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