Longer and Increasingly Unequal Lifespans in OECD Countries: Implications for Social Security and Retirement Policy

Frank Heiland, Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY)

This paper analyzes trends in retirement lifespans in 26 OECD countries in the context of the ongoing efforts to reform public pensions. We investigate mean remaining years of life and lifespan inequality at age 60 across birth cohorts 1900-1960. In most countries life expectancy is increasing rapidly and the distribution of retirement lifespan is widening. We analyze how policy makers can balance the demographic trends by adjusting the entitlement age for full pension benefits. For selected countries (United States, Germany, Japan, and Belgium), we derive the inter-generationally fair entitlement ages and compare them to the actual adjustments (if any) that have been implemented.

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Presented in Session 118: Older Populations in International and Cross-Cultural Perspective