The Increasing Annuitization of the Elderly- Estimates and Implications for Intergenerational Tranfers, Inequality, and National Saving
NBER Working Paper No. 4182
This paper examines changes over time in the degree to which the resources (human plus nonhuman wealth) of the elderly have been annuitized. Using data from the 1962 and 1983 Federal Reserve Surveys of Consumer Finances we find evidence of an increase in annuitization which is particularly pronounced among the older elderly (those over 75) and among women. The estimated 1983 flow of aggregate bequests to children and grandchildren would have been 20% larger were it not for this increase in annuitization. The change in annuitization may have contributed significantly to the recent decline of the U.S. national saving rate.