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Survivor Benefits and the Gender Tax Gap in Public Pension Schemes: Observations from Germany

29 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2005  

Martin Werding

Ruhr Universit├Ąt Bochum; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Social Policy and Labour Markets

Date Written: November 2005

Abstract

Since its inception, the traditional form of providing survivor benefits within public pension schemes has lost much of its legitimacy. As a result of fundamental changes in marriage behaviour and the typical division of labour between married spouses, offering noncontributory benefits of this kind could be seen as inequitable. Since these benefits usually substitute for non-derived pension entitlements based on the surviving spouse's own contributions, they can also lead to incentive effects, especially for married women with some degree of labour-force attachment, that appear to be far from optimal. The present paper highlights this problem referring to institutional details and empirical results related to Germany and shows how it could be resolved by jointly annuitizing a given couple's pension entitlements.

Keywords: public pensions, survivor benefits, female labour supply, optimal taxation

JEL Classification: H55, J16, J22

Suggested Citation

Werding, Martin, Survivor Benefits and the Gender Tax Gap in Public Pension Schemes: Observations from Germany (November 2005). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1596. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=869205

Martin Werding (Contact Author)

Ruhr Universit├Ąt Bochum ( email )

Room GC 04/312
D-44780 Bochum, 44780
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschingerstr. 5
81679 Munich
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Social Policy and Labour Markets ( email )

Munich, 81879
Germany

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