Get Old or Die Trying: Longevity Justice in Social Insurance

Politics, Philosophy and Economics (forthcoming)
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Of all the risks we face in life, ranging from unemployment to old age, early death is among the most tragic and yet most neglected by modern states. Liberal egalitarians might find it easy to dismiss social insurance against early death, but I argue they should not. Early in this paper, I explain why social insurance should include the risk of premature death by replying to four common criticisms. What follows is a case for a novel form of insurance that is more liberal and egalitarian across ages than the status quo. More specifically, I show that granting storable pensions in all life stages - youth, middle and old age - promotes liberty and reduces lifetime inequality. Writers on age group and longevity justice often overlook the extent to which liberal lifetime equality can supply insightful arguments against inequality across ages. These call for a policy that gives each age group the freedom to draw a storable pension. I call that policy "freetirement".

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Manuel Sá Valente
Universidade do Minho


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