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Old 03-05-2013, 02:39 PM
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Default Social Security-type programs

This didn't really go in the public pensions thread, nor in the retirement age thread, so I'm starting a new one.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/id...30305?irpc=932

Quote:
PARIS (Reuters) - Anxious to avoid the fury that greeted his predecessor's pension reforms, President Francois Hollande will ask more of old people to fix the hole in French retirement coffers but tread gently in doing so.

Even a softly-softly approach will mark the first time a left-wing president has dared to tamper with a system which is one of the sacred cows of France's model of generous welfare provision.

A plan in the works will likely leave intact the official retirement age of 62 but trim annual pension rises, buying Hollande time to try and coax people in their 50s and 60s to work a few more years, officials working on the project say.

....
"The French hate the idea of touching the retirement age, it's sacred. And now is not the time for a 'big bang' structural reform -- the system is too stretched to find any compromise," one of Hollande's aides told Reuters.

Pressed on the issue recently, government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem vowed people would not be made to work longer.

Instead, the aim will be to repair the short-term funding gap with nips and tucks that could save a few billion euros a year and study ways to end an entrenched early retirement habit that costs billions more in lost output and contributions.

....
While 30-somethings struggle to save, three in five 55 to 64-year-olds already have their feet up, including many public sector employees whose pensions are close to their final pay.

....
Given only 19 percent of 60 to 64-year-olds still work, the potential is high. A 2012 European Commission report concluded that even a small rise in old-age employment could substantially reduce France's pension burden, currently 14.4 percent of GDP.

.....
PERSUASIVE

France has a pay-as-you go pension system with a basic scheme for all and complementary company schemes. Unusually, all those schemes are state-funded.

Workers pay large contributions relative to other countries to underwrite a system that is generous to low-earners and public sector employees. Very few invest in private schemes.

Despite Sarkozy's reform, which means people must be 62 to get a full pension or 67 if they have not worked the statutory 41.5 years, the pot has been depleted by the economic crisis and a surge in unemployment to above 10 percent.
....
Partly because of penalties if people work less than the full 41.5 years, French pensions average 60 percent of working-age post-tax income versus 69 percent for OECD-bloc countries.

....
Trimming annual pension rises to a percentage point below inflation could save some 2.5 billion euros a year with limited pain, and at a time when many workers face pay freezes.

For the longer-term push to keep people working longer, the split between blue and white-collar workers, exacerbated by an archaic, complex and unfair pension system that pampers those who stay in one job for life, will come into focus.

Rooted in a time when more people worked in mines than in offices, a costly system of different regimes for haphazard groups of jobs like deep sea fishermen, midwives, bailiffs and sewage workers mean that for each 1,000 euros paid in, one person might get back 140 euros a year and another just 60.

Bus drivers get a pension of 2,500 euros a month while a self-employed farmer gets 900 euros. People in tiring jobs have the right to retire earlier and are loath to give it up.


as a comparison, while employment for France is 19% for age 60-64, in the U.S. the rate is 51.7% (January 2013, Series Id: LNU02300096)
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:25 AM
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Might as well put actual Social Security stuff in here. The other thread had gotten pretty long.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_2832613.html

Quote:
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), who is running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, released a video Monday stating that he supports "small changes" to the Social Security retirement age, but on Wednesday he signed a letter stating he would support no increase in the age at all.

"We will vote against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits -- including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need," reads the letter, also signed by Reps. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and touted by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

....
"We do have to recognize that when Social Security was established in 1935, the average life expectancy for women was 65. For men, it was 62, I believe. And, nowadays, for kids born today, the ages are, I think, 87 and 91 for women," he said. "So, obviously, with the life expectancy expanding for beneficiaries, we’re going to have to make some changes there. But I think those are small changes over a long period of time will keep Social Security’s promise to future generations."

Lynch's is roughly right about life expectancy in 1935, but that fact misleads, according to the Social Security Administration: "Life expectancy at birth in 1930 was indeed only 58 for men and 62 for women, and the retirement age was 65. But life expectancy at birth in the early decades of the 20th century was low due mainly to high infant mortality, and someone who died as a child would never have worked and paid into Social Security."

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Old 03-11-2013, 01:30 PM
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Lynch's is roughly right about life expectancy in 1935, but that fact misleads, according to the Social Security Administration: "Life expectancy at birth in 1930 was indeed only 58 for men and 62 for women, and the retirement age was 65. But life expectancy at birth in the early decades of the 20th century was low due mainly to high infant mortality, and someone who died as a child would never have worked and paid into Social Security."
Ah, Demography 101 from good old Part 5. Gee, is Demography still on the SOA syllabus?
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Idiot Double-Talking Politician (but I repeat myself)
"So, obviously, with the life expectancy expanding for beneficiaries, we’re going to have to make some changes there. But I think those are small changes over a long period of time will keep Social Security’s promise to future generations."
What are these "small changes" if retirement age and COLA are off the table?
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:34 PM
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What are these "small changes" if retirement age and COLA are off the table?
He's a Democrat from Massachusetts. You already know the answer -- raise the OASDI tax rates and eliminate the earnings cap on taxes (but not on benefits).
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:07 PM
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I was going to calculate this myself, but I see the SSA has already taken the trouble for me:

http://www.ssa.gov/history/lifeexpect.html

so, for 1940, about 54% of men who had made it to age 21 made it to 65 (in the year 1940), and 61% of women.

Looking at 1990 numbers, those percentages are 72% and 84%, respectively.

For those who made it to age 65 in 1940, life expectancy for men was 12.7 years and 14.7 years for women.

The same numbers for 1990 are 15.3 and 19.6 years, respectively. Interesting that the sex gap increased for all these.

Those seem to be the relevant numbers for the discussion.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by campbell View Post
I was going to calculate this myself, but I see the SSA has already taken the trouble for me:

http://www.ssa.gov/history/lifeexpect.html

so, for 1940, about 54% of men who had made it to age 21 made it to 65 (in the year 1940), and 61% of women.

Looking at 1990 numbers, those percentages are 72% and 84%, respectively.

For those who made it to age 65 in 1940, life expectancy for men was 12.7 years and 14.7 years for women.

The same numbers for 1990 are 15.3 and 19.6 years, respectively. Interesting that the sex gap increased for all these.

Those seem to be the relevant numbers for the discussion.
That's weird, I thought that since more women relatively were smoking in recent years that the gap was decreasing?
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:45 PM
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That's weird, I thought that since more women relatively were smoking in recent years that the gap was decreasing?
Well, there has been faster male mortality improvement than female mortality improvement overall, but... really, I have no idea.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:40 PM
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France's problems largely stem from the 1980's when the decision was made to lower the retirement age to 60 to encourage early retirement in an effort to create jobs for young people. Some other European countries have made tough decisions since the 1980's to get their pensions systems on a more sustainable basis but France is a notable exception. I think possibly the best advice for France, and for other countries that may need to reform their pensions system, is the well-known quotation from The Leopard:

"If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change”
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Loner View Post
That's weird, I thought that since more women relatively were smoking in recent years that the gap was decreasing?
The SS data presented are so old that it is not relevant for this discussion. They largely capture the years in which female mortality improved faster than male mortality (1940's-1970's). That's not relevant to how mortality improvements have occurred over the last 20 years.

My understanding is that the gap in life expectancy from birth between males and females in the USA is declining due to faster male mortality improvement (based on the CDC's estimated life expectancy at birth). What used to be a 7.5 year gap in the 1970's is now closer to five years.

Further you can find updated estimates of life expectancy by sex at age 65 through 2009 in the CDC data. The gap between the sexes has narrowed.
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