The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We compare the long-term output and current account effects of pension reforms that increase the retirement age with those of reforms that cut pension benefits, conditional on reforms achieving similar fiscal targets. We show the presence of a policy trade-off. Pension reforms that increase the retirement age have a large positive effect on output, but a small (and often negative) effect on the current account. In contrast, reforms that cut pension benefits improve the current account balance but reduce output. Mixed pension reforms, which extend the working life and cut pension benefits, can simultaneously boost output and the current account.