Pension Plan Discrimination Against the Short-Lived: The Government We Deserve
Publication Date: May 2007
Publisher(s): Tax Policy Center
Author(s): C. Eugene Steuerle
Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Keywords: Governance; Fiscal future,; Economic inequality
Many pension plans pay out benefits over a worker's remaining life. Perhaps inadvertently, they then discriminate against groups with shorter life expectancies. Losers include those with poorer health, less education, and more physically demanding jobs. Racial groups with higher mortality rates, like blacks, also lose. This discrimination, however, can largely be overcome with compensating mechanisms.