Variation in marginal tax rates around retirement and the return to saving in tax-favored accounts
Author(s)Bishop, Tonja Bowen
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Economics.
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Economists have generally assumed that to the extent possible, retirement savings should be done in a tax-deferred account. However, the advent of Roth-style tax-favored accounts and concerns about the tax implications of increasing retirement income through tax-deferred distributions indicate that this question merits a reevaluation. I use data on married couples in the HRS and NBER's TAXSIM model to measure the probability of a household facing a higher tax rate at ages 62, 65, and 69 than the household faced at age 57. When the marginal tax rate is higher, the household could decrease their lifetime tax by choosing a Roth-style account over a tax-deferred account. I also measure the probability of facing a marginal tax rate that is sufficiently high that the household minimizes tax payments by using a taxable account rather than a tax-deferred account, in the absence of a Roth option. I find that for distributions beginning at age 69, between 10 and 35% of households with taxable income at age 57 should prefer a Roth account to a tax-deferred account, but very few households prefer a taxable account.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Economics, 2008.Includes bibliographical references (p. 30-31).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Economics.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology