Full text: Capital Gains, Pension Funds and

What is the importance of the realised capital gains for 
the household saving? If the gains are made by households 
which hold shares directly or which get capital gains 
dividends from investment funds ,and if they spend these 
gains on consumption, then the result will be a reduction 
of household saving as measured by NIPA, which is 
spurious,because the saving propensities have not changed - 
as much is saved as before and the additional consumption 
is financed out of the capital gains. It is very difficult 
to estimate even approximately how much spurious reduction 
in saving may have been caused by realised capital gains of 
households. A large part of share capital is held by 
households directly or indirectly (although some of it has 
been shifted to the pension funds in the course of time), 
but the holding,direct and via investment funds,is highly 
concentrated,so that only a fairly small proportion of the 
gains can have been consumed.Nevertheless it is possible 
that the saving rate has been reduced by something like a 
third to one half of a percentage point on account of 
realised capital gains of households. 
Quite apart from realised gains the mere fact of the stock 
exchange boom has led to an appreciation of the assets of 
pension funds which in itself has led to considerable 
overfunding. This has led to an absolute and relative 
reduction in the contributions to the funds. Tne policy of 
the funds is to aim at a certain target investment which 
enables them to meet the pension claims. They are 
constrained by law to reduce their contributions if there 
is overfunding and the provisions have been made more

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