|In his contribution to this electronic discussion group dated 6 June 2003, Anton Steurer discusses at length several methods of estimating imputed social contributions (SNA transactions D.122 and D.612). One of the questions he considers is whether contributions to unfunded pension schemes should be ?discounted.? That is, the value of the contributions should be the value of the future benefits to which the employees are entitled as a result of providing their labor services in the current period. Mr. Steurer asks whether the value of those future benefits should be discounted to their present value or should they be undiscounted.
The paper argues the value of the D.122 imputed social contributions to a pension scheme should be discounted in exactly the same way that contributions to private funded schemes are discounted. I would be odd that the cost to an employer of providing pension benefits to its employees should be higher if a scheme is unfunded than if it is funded. The valuation selected is important because it affects GDP to the extent that nonmarket producers, such as government units, operate unfunded pension schemes.
John Pitzer worked with the IMF and is now a consultant. He was the primary author of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 (GFSM 2001).
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