Administrative Costs and Equilibrium Charges with Individual Accounts
NBER Working Paper No. 7050
There are many individual account proposals. For government-organized accounts, the government arranges for both record-keeping and investment management. For privately-organized accounts, individuals directly select private firms to do these tasks. The government spreads the costs of government-organized accounts among accounts, outside sources of revenue, employers and workers. With privately-organized accounts, equilibrium prices reflect selling costs as well as administrative costs. Thus, government-organized accounts are organized on a group basis while privately-organized accounts are organized on an individual basis. In financial and insurance markets generally, the group and individual markets function very differently and yield different pricing structures. The paper describes a low cost/low services government-organized plan and estimates that it might cost $40-50 per worker per year. The nature of equilibrium with privately-organized accounts is discussed, with the conclusion that the costs would be very high compared to the cost of government organization.
Published: Administrative Costs and Equilibrium Charges with Individual Accounts, Peter A. Diamond, in Administrative Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform (2000), University of Chicago Press