Increasing life expectancy and optimal retirement in general equilibrium

Klaus Prettner, David Canning

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


We analytically assess the effects of changes in longevity on the interest rate, the consumption-savings behavior, and the optimal retirement decision within a dynamic general equilibrium setting. We derive a simple sufficient condition for which the optimal retirement age always increases with life expectancy. Numerical assessment reveals that for realistic parameter values that reflect the situation in industrialized countries, the optimal retirement age indeed increases with life expectancy and the sufficient condition tends to be fulfilled. Together with the fact that the actual retirement age did not increase in industrialized countries over the last decades, while there have been large improvements in longevity, this leads us to conclude that strong monetary and institutional incentives for early retirement exist and these counteract the effects of increasing life expectancy. Our policy conclusion is that the retirement age should be partially linked to life expectancy and that incentives for early retirement should be removed.
Seiten (von - bis)191 - 217
FachzeitschriftEconomic Theory
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2014