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Collective versus Individual Pension Schemes: a Welfare-Theoretical Perspective

CPB Discussion Paper 287, 20 October 2014

This paper explores the welfare effects of a number of collective pension contracts, distinguishing between the two welfare effects. We find that collective schemes can be either superior or inferior to individual schemes.

Collective pension contracts allow for intergenerational risk sharing with the unborn. They therefore imply a higher level of social welfare than individual accounts. Collective pension contracts also imply a sub- optimal allocation of consumption across time periods and states of nature however. Hence, collective pension contracts also reduce social welfare.

This paper explores the welfare effects of a number of collective pension contracts, distinguishing between the two welfare effects. We find that collective schemes can be either superior or inferior to individual schemes.

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