Simulating the Distributional Consequences of Personal Accounts

Research Report

Simulating the Distributional Consequences of Personal Accounts

Sensitivity to Annuitization Options

Abstract

In this study we project the long-term effects of a proposal that carves out some Social Security contributions to pay for personal accounts. We compare the distributional outcomes to the current system and examine how different strategies for annuitizing personal account balances might change these outcomes. We find that personal accounts would reduce some of the redistribution in the current system by tying benefits more closely to work histories. However, annuitization of balances and options such as joint and survivor protection, period certain payouts, and cash refunds also would affect the distributional outcomes.

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