NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

On Consumption-Indexed Public Pension Plans

Robert C. Merton

NBER Working Paper No. 910
Issued in June 1982
NBER Program(s):   PE

Using the known result that life-cycle investors will optimally hold portfolios whose returns are perfectly correlated with aggregate consumption, this paper uses a simple intertemporal general equilibrium model to explore the merits and feasibility of pension plans where both accumulations and benefits are linked to aggregate per capita consumption. Although the analysis is made within the framework of a public pension plan, it applies equally well to organized private pension plans where participation is virtually mandatory and where individually designed programs are not practical. An additional feature of the plans examined is that they provide for life annuities during both the accumulation and retirement phases of the life cycle.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0910

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