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Studien zu Rechnungslegung, Steuerlehre und Controlling No. 5
Würzburg University Press, Würzburg
Aufgrund der bekannten Probleme der umlagefinanzierten gesetzlichen Rentenversicherung versucht der deutsche Gesetzgeber seit einiger Zeit, die eigenverantwortliche Altersvorsorge zu fördern. Häufig steht dabei die betriebliche Altersversorgung (bAV) im Fokus. In dieser Arbeit wird mittels Experten- und Arbeitnehmerinterviews ausführlich herausgearbeitet, wo zentrale Verbreitungshemmnisse der bAV liegen und wie diese durch Anpassung der steuer- und sozialversicherungsrechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen adressiert werden können. Wesentliche Elemente dieser Reformüberlegungen sind in das zum 01.01.2018 in Kraft getretene Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz eingeflossen. Daneben wird in dieser Arbeit mithilfe einer experimentalökonomischen Analyse gezeigt, wie verschiedene Arten der Besteuerung individuelle Sparentscheidungen beeinflussen können. Dabei wird deutlich, dass Individuen die Wirkung einer nachgelagerten Besteuerung häufig nicht korrekt wahrnehmen.
Individuals make numerous decisions that affect their financial situation. Saving in general and saving for old age in particular are two of these decisions. Experimental economics investigate the influence of taxes on such individual decisions. The results show that the decisions actually made may differ from those predicted by model theory. So far, this was primarily shown for the influence of taxes on investment and labor supply decisions. It is found that in some cases individuals make biased decisions due to a misperception of certain fiscal regulations, such as tax treatments. Such findings are the motivation for the first part of this work: Using experimental methods, I show how different forms of taxation influence the decision between immediate consumption and saving. The parameters are chosen in such a way that the treatments 'No Tax', 'Front-loaded Taxation' and 'Deferred Taxation' have identical net payoffs, which should induce the same decision-making patterns. However, I find that these expectations are only met for the comparison of the No Tax treatment and the Front-loaded Taxation treatment. The participants in the treatment Deferred Taxation decide less often in favor of saving. This effect can be attributed to a misperception of this form of taxation. The individuals assess its influence as more negative than it actually is. Moreover, my findings show that the advantages from deferred or front-loaded taxation compared to a classic income tax are only partially recognized. While in the case of deferred and front-loaded taxation the periodic return is tax-free, this return is taxed in the system of a classic income tax. The latter should have a negative effect on the savings decision. The results of the experiment suggest that this is only true for the comparison of the income tax with the front-loaded taxation. Since the deferred taxation distorts the participants' decisions negatively, I find no difference to the classic income tax. The second part of this work deals with the current and future legal regulations regarding company pension schemes (CPS) as a form of state-subsidized old-age provision. Although tax regulations are the main focus, social security law is also dealt with as it often corresponds to tax law. For some time now, the German legislator has been trying to increase the attractiveness of CPS in an attempt to encourage its wider use. There is considerable potential for this especially among earners of low and very low incomes. Therefore, this study examines obstacles to the continued spread of CPS by using qualitative methods, i.e. guided interviews with experts as well as partially standardized interviews with employees from this target group. On this basis, I consider potential reforms that may prove effective in addressing the identified obstacles. I then subject these reform ideas to an empirical review that involves interviews again with earners of low and very low incomes. It is shown that a 'CBS subsidy' could be introduced, which involves granting a statutory subsidy to employers who contribute a certain minimum amount to the CPS on behalf of their employees. As a consequence, employees would be able to participate in a CPS without having to make a contribution of their own, which would induce the desired effect especially for earners of low and very low incomes. Besides that, already existing support schemes, i.e. the 'Riester subsidy', could be made more attractive by making appropriate adjustments. These analyses took place before the Company Pensions Strengthening Act (CPSA) was passed and thus before it came into force. Accordingly, the comments on the legal and initial situation refer to the status as of December 31, 2017. Some of the adjustments implemented in the CPSA are based on the reform proposals discussed in this work.
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