November 12, 2012

MU0010 [Manpower Planning and Resourcing] Set2 Q6

Q.6 Write a detailed note on Retirement.

Ans:


Retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely (or decides to leave the labor force if he or she is unemployed). A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours.


Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when physical conditions don't allow the person to work any more (by illness or accident) or as a result of legislation concerning their position. In most countries, the idea of retirement is of recent origin, being introduced during the 19th and 20th centuries. Previously, low life expectancy and the absence of pension arrangements meant that most workers continued to work until death. Germany was the first country to introduce retirement in the 1880s.


Nowadays most developed countries have systems to provide pensions on retirement in old age, which may be sponsored by employers and/or the state. In many poorer countries, support for the old is still mainly provided through the family. Today, retirement with a pension is considered a right of the worker in many societies, and hard ideological, social, cultural and political battles have been fought over whether this is a right. In many western countries this right is mentioned in national constitutions.

Retirement in specific countries

A person may retire at whatever age they please. However, a country's tax laws and/or state old-age pension rules usually mean that in a given country a certain age is thought of as the "standard" retirement age.

The "standard" retirement age varies from country to country but it is generally between 55 and 70. In some countries this age is different for males and females, although this has recently been challenged in some countries (e.g., Austria), and in some countries the ages are being brought into line. The table below shows the variation in eligibility ages for public old-age benefits in the United States and many European countries.


Country
Early retirement age
Normal retirement age
Employed, 55–59
Employed, 60–64
Employed, 65–69
Employed, 70+
Austria
60 (57)
65 (60)
39%
7%
1%
0%
Belgium
60
65
45%
12%
1%
0%
Denmark
none
65
77%
35%
9%
1%
France
62*
65*
51%
12%
1%
0%
Germany
65
67
64%
23%
3%
0%
Greece
57
65
51%
31%
8%
1%
Italy
57
65 (60)
34%
12%
1%
0%
Netherlands
60
65
53%
22%
3%
0%
Norway
62
67
?
?
?
?
Spain
60
65
46%
22%
0%
0%
Sweden
61
65
78%
58%
5%
1%
Switzerland
63 (61), [58]
65 (64)
77%
46%
7%
2%
United Kingdom
none
65
69%
40%
10%
2%
United States
62
67
66%
43%
20%
5%


Notes: Parentheses indicate eligibility age for women when different. Sources: Cols. 1–2: OECD Pensions at a Glance (2005), Cols. 3–6: Tabulations from HRS, ELSA and SHARE. Square brackets indicate early retirement for some public employees.

In the United States, while the normal retirement age for Social Security, or Old Age Survivors Insurance (OASI), historically has been age 65 to receive unreduced benefits, it is gradually increasing to age 67. For those turning 65 in 2008, full benefits will be payable beginning at age 66.


Public servants are often not covered by Social Security but have their own pension programs. Police officers in the United States are typically allowed to retire at half pay after only 20 years of service or three-quarter pay after 30 years, allowing people to retire in their early forties or fifties. Military members of the US Armed Forces may elect to retire after 20 years of active duty. Their retirement pay (not a pension since they can be involuntarily called back to active duty at any time) is calculated on total number of years on active duty, their final pay grade and the retirement system in place when they entered service. Allowances such as housing and subsistence are not used to calculate a member's retired pay. Members awarded the Medal of Honor qualify for a separate stipend, regardless of the years of service. Military members in the reserve and US National Guard have their retirement based on a point system.


Factors affecting retirement decisions

Many factors affect people's retirement decisions. Social Security clearly plays an important role. In countries around the world, people are much more likely to retire at the early and normal retirement ages of the public pension system (e.g., ages 62 and 65 in the U.S.). This pattern cannot be explained by different financial incentives to retire at these ages since typically retirement benefits at these ages are approximately actuarially fair; that is, the present value of lifetime pension benefits (pension wealth) conditional on retiring at age a is approximately the same as pension wealth conditional on retiring one year later at age a+1. Nevertheless a large literature has found that individuals respond significantly to financial incentives relating to retirement (e.g., to discontinuities stemming from the Social Security earnings test or the tax system).

Greater wealth tends to lead to earlier retirement, since wealthier individuals can essentially "purchase" additional leisure. Generally the effect of wealth on retirement is difficult to estimate empirically since observing greater wealth at older ages may be the result of increased saving over the working life in anticipation of earlier retirement. However, a number of economists have found creative ways to estimate wealth effects on retirement and typically find that they are small. For example, one paper exploits the receipt of an inheritance to measure the effect of wealth shocks on retirement using data from the HRS. The authors find that receiving an inheritance increases the probability of retiring earlier than expected by 4.4 percentage points, or 12 percent relative to the baseline retirement rate, over an eight-year period.


A great deal of attention has surrounded how the financial crisis is affecting retirement decisions, with the conventional wisdom saying that fewer people will retire since their savings have been depleted; however recent research suggests that the opposite may happen. Using data from the HRS, researchers examined trends in defined benefit (DB) vs. defined contribution (DC) pension plans and found that those nearing retirement had only limited exposure to the recent stock market decline and thus are not likely to substantially delay their retirement. At the same time, using data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), another study estimates that mass layoffs are likely to lead to an increase in retirement almost 50% larger than the decrease brought about by the stock market crash, so that on net retirements are likely to increase in response to the crisis. More information tells of how many who retire will continue to work, but not in the career they have had for the majority of their life. Job openings will increase in the next 5 years due to retirements of the baby boomer generation.

The Over 50 population is actually the fastest growing labor groups in the US. This might have something to do with the economy, or the fact that this generation is outliving any previous generation and needs a job to entertain them! A great deal of research has examined the effects of health status and health shocks on retirement. It is widely found that individuals in poor health generally retire earlier than those in better health. This does not necessarily imply that poor health status leads people to retire earlier, since in surveys retirees may be more likely to exaggerate their poor health status to justify their earlier decision to retire. This justification bias, however, is likely to be small.  In general, declining health over time, as well as the onset of new health conditions, have been found to be positively related to earlier retirement. Most people are married when they reach retirement age; thus, spouse's employment status may affect one's decision to retire. On average, husbands are three years older than their wives in the U.S., and spouses often coordinate their retirement decisions. Thus, men are more likely to retire if their wives are also retired than if they are still in the labor force, and vice versa.



Saving for retirement
Retired workers then support themselves either through pensions or savings. In most cases the money is provided by the government, but sometimes granted only by private subscriptions to mutual funds. In this latter case, subscriptions might be compulsory or voluntary. In some countries an additional "bonus" is granted una tantum (once only) in proportion to the years of work and the average wages; this is usually provided by the employer.

The financial weight of provision of pensions on a government's budget is often heavy and is the reason for political debates about the retirement age. The state might be interested in a later retirement age for economic reasons. The cost of health care in retirement is large, because people tend to be ill more frequently in later life. Most countries provide universal health insurance coverage for seniors, although in the United States many people retire before they become eligible for Medicare at age 65. In 2006, Medicare Part D went into effect, expanding benefits to include prescription drug coverage.


Retirement calculation

For most people, employer pensions, government pensions and the tax situation in their country are important factors, typically taken account of in calculations by actuaries. Ignoring those significant nation-specific factors but not necessarily assuming zero real interest rates, a 'not to be relied upon' calculation of required personal savings rate zprop can be made using a little mathematics. It helps to have a dimly-remembered acquaintance with geometric series, maybe in the form
1 + r + r2 + r3 + ... + rn−1 = (1 − rn)/(1 − r) 

You work for w years, saving a proportion zprop of pay at the end of each year. So the after-savings purchasing power is (1-zprop) of pay while you are working. You need a pension for p years. Let's say that at retirement you are earning S per year and require to replace a ratio Rrepl of your pre-retirement living standard. So you need a pension of (1 – zprop ) Rrepl S, indexed to price inflation.


Let's assume that the investments, after price inflation fprice, earn a real rate ireal in real terms where

(1+ ireal ) = ((1+inominal))/((1+fprice ) ) (Ret-01)
Let's assume that the investments, after wage inflation fpay, earn a real rate i rel to pay where
(1+ i rel to pay ) = ((1+inominal))/((1+fpay ) ) (Ret-02)

Size of lump sum required

To pay for your pension, assumed for simplicity to be received at the end of each year, and taking discounted values in the manner of a net present value calculation, you need a lump sum available at retirement of:
(1 – zprop ) R repl S {(1+ ireal ) −1+(1+ ireal ) −2 +… ….+ (1+ ireal ) -p}
= (1-zprop ) R repl S {(1 – (1+ireal)-p )/ireal}

Above we have used the standard mathematical formula for the sum of a geometric series. (Or if ireal =0 then the series in braces sums to p since it then has p equal terms). As an example, assume that S=60,000 per year and that it is desired to replace Rrepl=0.80, or 80%, of pre-retirement living standard for p=30 years. Assume for current purposes that a proportion z prop=0.25 (25%) of pay was being saved. Using ireal=0.02, or 2% per year real return on investments, the necessary lump sum is given by the formula as (1-0.25)*0.80*60,000*annuity-series-sum(30)=36,000*22.396=806,272 in the nation's currency in 2008–2010 terms. To allow for inflation in a straighforward way, it is best to talk of the 806,272 as being '13.43 years of retirement age salary'. It may be appropriate to regard this as being the necessary lump sum to fund 36,000 of annual supplements to any employer or government pensions that are available. It is common to not include any house value in the calculation of this necessary lump sum, so for a homeowner the lump sum pays primarily for non-housing living costs.


Size of lump sum saved

Will you have saved enough at retirement? Use our necessary but unrealistic assumption of a constant after-pay-rises rate of interest. At retirement you have accumulated
zprop S {(1+ i rel to pay )w-1+(1+ i rel to pay )w-2 +… ….+ (1+ i rel to pay )+ 1 }
= zprop S ((1+i rel to pay)w- 1)/i rel to pay

Equate and derive necessary saving proportion
To make the accumulation match with the lump sum needed to pay your pension:
zprop S (((1+i rel to pay )) w - 1)/i rel to pay = (1-zprop ) R repl S (1 – ((1+i real)) -p )/i real

Bring zprop to the left hand side to give our answer, under this rough and unguaranteed method, for the proportion of pay that we should be saving:

zprop = R repl (1 – ((1+i real )) -p )/i real / [(((1+i rel to pay )) w - 1)/i rel to pay + R repl (1 – ((1+i real )) -p )/i real ] (Ret-03)

You are encouraged to download the use-at-your-own-financial-risk spreadsheet. The results in the spreadsheet can be seen to make sense. For example, working for 5 years and drawing a pension for 5 years requires you to save almost half your pay, with interest helping only a little.

Note that the special case i rel to pay =0 = i real means that we instead sum the geometric series by noting that we have p or w identical terms and hence z prop = p/(w+p). This corresponds to our graph above with the straight line real-terms accumulation.


Life after retirement

Retirement might coincide with important life changes; a retired worker might move to a new location, for example a retirement community, thereby having less frequent contact with their previous social context and adopting a new lifestyle. Often retirees volunteer for charities and other community organizations. Tourism is a common marker of retirement and for some becomes a way of life, such as for so called grey nomads. Often retirees are called upon to care for grandchildren and occasionally aged parents. For many it gives them more time to devote to a hobby or sport such as golf or sailing. On the other hand, many retirees feel restless and suffer from depression as a result of their new situation. Either because of the sudden increase in free time, or because of a decline in their personal health, the newly retired are one of the most vulnerable societal groups when it comes to depression.

Many people in the later years of their lives, due to failing health, require assistance, the highest degree of assistance – in some countries – being provided in a nursing home. Those who need care, but are not in need of constant assistance, may choose to live in a retirement home.

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