Juli 2001

IZA DP No. 328: Why Funding is not a Solution to the "Social Security Crisis"

It is now a commonplace that the unfunded public pension systems of many OECD countries will run into severe financing problems in the coming decades due to a dramatically increasing pensioner/worker ratio. While this diagnosis is completely undisputed, there is still a vigorous debate on the appropriate therapy. In this debate, a number of proposals have been brought forward in particular in the last five years, which mainly consist in a (partial) transition to a funded pension system. Because such a transition is not a Pareto improvement, it is necessary to ask what can be the policy target that justifies such a redistributive move? The present paper tries to examine this question by identifying seven fallacies that are commonly made by advocates of such a transition.