This setting lets you change the way you view articles. You can choose to have articles open in a dialog window, a new tab, or directly in the same window.
Open in Dialog
Open in New Tab
Open in same window

American Economic Review: Vol. 93 No. 2 (May 2003)

Expand

Quick Tools:

Print Article Summary
Export Citation
Sign up for Email Alerts Follow us on Twitter

Explore:

AER - All Issues

AER Forthcoming Articles

Guaranteeing Individual Accounts

Article Citation

Lachance, Marie-Eve, and Olivia S. Mitchell. 2003. "Guaranteeing Individual Accounts ." American Economic Review, 93(2): 257-260.

DOI: 10.1257/000282803321947155

Abstract

Global aging is prompting workers and taxpayers everywhere to recognize their vulnerability to the inherent uncertainty of unfunded social-security systems. This has generated an international wave of social-security reforms over the last two decades, prompting more than 20 countries to establish Individual Account (IA) plans. In the United States, the idea of Individual Accounts has attracted recent interest with the release of the Final Report of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security (CSSS): here, voluntary individual accounts were proposed as a key element of a reformed national old-age system (see Commission to Strengthen Social Security, 2001; John F. Cogan and Mitchell, 2003). Strengths of IA's include the fact that participants gain ownership in their accounts and diversify their pension investments; nevertheless, IA participants also must bear capital-market risk. Recent market volatility has reminded investors of the importance of capital-market fluctuations and their potential impact on retirement income. In response, some policymakers have suggested that "guarantees" be designed to help protect IA investments. Abroad, such guarantees have been adopted in several Latin American countries undergoing reform, and most recently, in Japan and Germany (Mitchell and Kent Smetters, 2003). Sensible public policy recommending the adoption of guarantees must identify their costs and who will pay for them. In this paper, we discuss how to evaluate such costs in the context of a social-security reform that includes IA's, along with ways to finance them.

Article Full-Text Access

Full-text Article

Authors

Lachance, Marie-Eve
Mitchell, Olivia S.


American Economic Review


Quick Tools:

Sign up for Email Alerts

Follow us on Twitter

Subscription Information
(Institutional Administrator Access)

Explore:

AER - All Issues

AER - Forthcoming Articles

Virtual Field Journals


AEA Member Login:


AEAweb | AEA Journals | Contact Us