In theory, improvements in healthy life expectancy should generate increases in the average age of retirement, with little effect on savings rates. In many countries, however, retirement incentives in social security programs prevent retirement ages from keeping pace with changes in life expectancy, leading to an increased need for life-cycle savings. Analyzing a cross-country panel of macroeconomic data, we find that increased longevity raises aggregate savings rates in countries with universal pension coverage and retirement incentives, though the effect disappears in countries with pay-as-you-go systems and high replacement rates.
Published as Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Mansfield, Richard K. & Moore, Michael, 2007. "Demographic change, social security systems, and savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 92-114, January.