Assessing The Notional Defined Contribution Model

John B. Williamson

IB#24

Introduction

The structure of pension systems varies by two key dimensions: the way in which benefits are determined and the way in which they are financed. The determination of benefits follows one of two main methods: (1) the defined benefit approach, in which benefits are based on a formula that relies on how much workers make and how long they work; and (2) the defined contribution approach, in which benefits are typically determined by the amount contributed and the accumulated earnings on those contributions. Pension financing also follows one of two general approaches: (1) pay-as-you-go, with contributions from current workers and their employers used to pay the pensions of current retirees; and (2) funded, with contributions invested in individual accounts that are used by workers to pay for their own retirement benefits…