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Public Pensions in the National Accounts and Public Finance Targets
Heikki Oksanen on 6/25/2004 9:41:05 AM
The paper entitled Public Pensions in the National Accounts and Public Finance Targets by Heikki Oksanen (at is published as CESifo Working Paper No 1214 (it is also available at

Preparations are underway to revise national accounting to implement actuarial recording of pension liabilities for corporations and government as an employer. This paper extends this to unfunded public pensions with the help of ?implicit tax? in pension contributions. The clearest advantages of the revision appear in situations where pension liabilities are shifted from the corporate sector to government, and where part of the public pension system is privatized. The proposed revision raises public debt and deficit to new orders of magnitude. The paper provides a framework for setting the debt and deficit targets under both current and proposed definitions.

Heikki Oksanen is advisor at the DG ECFIN, the Directorate General of the EU Commission in charge of economics. The views expressed in this document are personal and do not necessary reflect those of the EU Commission or of the DG ECFIN.

The author of this contribution to the discussion group on this site bear the sole responsibility for both the substance and the style of the contents. The purpose of the discussion group is to elicit comments and to promote debate on specific topics. As such, the views expressed on any of the issues raised are not to be attributed to the IMF.
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