Pension Plan Discrimination Against the Short-Lived: The Government We Deserve


Publication Date: May 2007

Publisher: Tax Policy Center

Author(s): C. Eugene Steuerle

Research Area: Economics

Keywords: Governance; Fiscal future,; Economic inequality

Type: Report


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.