Navigation path

Assessing the economic and budgetary impact of linking retirement ages and pension benefits to increases in longevity

Alexander Schwan and Etienne Sail

Assessing the economic and budgetary impact of linking retirement ages and pension benefits to increases in longevitypdf(2 MB) Choose translations of the previous link 

Summary for non-specialistspdf(32 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 

This paper focuses on potential public pension expenditure, pension adequacy and fiscal sustainability effects when linking retirement ages and pension benefits with future increases in longevity. Simulation results show that the expected increases in public pension expenditures as a share of GDP could almost be halved, when fully linking retirement ages to life expectancy gains in the future. The expected decrease in the benefit ratio due to recent pension reforms could be diminished. Even higher reductions in future pension spending would materialize with a rule that links pension benefits to longevity gains without adapting statutory retirement ages. However, if people do not extend their working lives in order to maintain the level of pension benefits, serious adequacy problems may arise. To fully stabilize public pension expenditures, further reform measures on top of a retirement age or pension benefit link to gains in life expectancy need to be considered in most Member States.

(European Economy. Economic Papers. 512. December 2013. Brussels. PDF. 116pp. Tab. Graph. Ann. Bibliogr. Free.)

KC-AI-13-512-EN-N (online)
ISBN 978-92-79-34898-3 (online)
doi:10.2765/67885 (online)

JEL classification: H55, J14, J26

Economic Papers are written by the staff of the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, or by experts working in association with them. The Papers are intended to increase awareness of the technical work being done by staff and to seek comments and suggestions for further analysis. The views expressed are the author’s alone and do not necessarily correspond to those of the European Commission.

Additional tools

  • Print version 
  • Decrease text 
  • Increase text