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Pension reform and individual retirement accounts in Japan

Sagiri Kitao ()

Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, 2015, vol. 38, issue C, 111-126

Abstract: The paper studies effects of introducing individual retirement accounts (IRA) as an alternative to the employer-based pay-as-you-go public pension in Japan. Without any reform, projected demographic transition implies a massive increase in government expenditures in the magnitude of 40% of total consumption at the peak. Gradually shifting earnings-related part of pension towards self-financed IRA, expenditures can be reduced by 20% of consumption, providing a major relief for the government budget. The reform generates a significant rise in capital, as individuals save more for retirement, which is invested for many years. As a result, wage, output and consumption are also higher, leading to a sizeable welfare gain in the intermediate and long-run. Current generations, however, can face a large welfare loss depending on how the transition is financed.

Keywords: Pension reform; Individual retirement account; Aging demographics; Japanese economy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H55 H60 J11 J32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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