- ESRI Studies Series on Ageing
Edited by Toshiaki Tachibanaki
4. Alternative pension reform strategies for Japan David Miles and Ales Cerny 1. INTRODUCTION This chapter summarizes the research we have undertaken into the implications of various pension reform strategies in Japan. Reform is essential because ageing will generate extreme pressures on the public, unfunded pension system. We consider the macroeconomic, or aggregate, and the distributional implications of reforms that, to varying degrees, would increase reliance upon funded pensions. We also estimate the welfare implications of reforms by calculating the expected gains and losses to households of various generations. We take as a point of reference a scenario where unfunded pensions provide an income to the retired worth a high proportion of salaries at the end of their working life; we take that proportion to be 50 percent of gross (or around 70 percent of net) salaries. In earlier research we have described results from a range of models. In some models uncertainty was absent but asset prices and wages were endogenous and responded to movements in savings and in labor supply generated by demographic shifts and changing pension arrangements. In other versions of the model there were multiple sources of uncertainty, none of which could be fully insured against, but rates of return and real wages evolved exogenously. In some versions of the model we were able to allow for uncertainty and to endogenize asset prices, but only by focusing on steady states. That precludes analyzing transitional periods where demographics and pension systems are evolving. Computational diﬃculties made...
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