NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Pensions and Mortality

Paul J. Taubman

NBER Working Paper No. 811
Issued in December 1981
NBER Program(s):   HE   PE

Pensions and age specific death rates are intertwined in several ways. Pensions provide a mechanism to remove the uncertainty about date of death from consumption planning. Age specific death rates determine the cost and value of pensions. In this paper, we use the Retirement History Survey to estimate reduced form functions for the probability of having a pension when the person reaches 65 and on the dollar amount of the pension. We also evaluate the effect of 15% drop in age specific death rates from 1973 to 1979 on the costs of a pension. We find that the probability of having a pension is related to education, marital status, occupation, industry and assets. The probability equation is very similar for males and females. We find that the sharp drop in death rates has only a marginal impact on the cost of providing a pension.

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