Simulation Software for Public Retirement Systems

Period of Performance: 09/01/1998 - 02/29/2000


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mountain View Research
Los Altos, CA 94024
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION: The broad objectives of this application are to design, implement, produce and market an interactive, graphically-oriented computer software package for the simulation, study and analysis of the dynamics of public retirement systems. Recent declines in mortality and fertility pose fiscal challenges for rapidly aging societies. Innovative features of the program include: (1) a demographic projection module with a state-of-the-art model of mortality decline; (2) the ability to simulate the effect of key economic variables such as real interest rate and the rate of productivity growth; (3) the ability to interactively examine the impact of tax and benefit policy against the background of demographic and economic change. The proposed program will focus on the United States, although future versions will include Canada, Mexico, and other countries. Specific goals of this Phase I project are to: (1) establish program specifications (input/output/data flow/computational flows/GUI characteristics); (2) assemble, test and document the database and algorithmic structure for the program; (3) design the software as a Windows 95/NT, GUI-based, application; (4) produce a preliminary online help (user's) guide, and technical manual; and (5) test and validate program components. The project has both commercial markets (researchers and analysts who study retirement systems) and educational markets. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The proposed project is to make available recent data and analytical techniques in user-friendly software for the modeling of public retirement systems. There are two target markets: researchers and analysts who study retirement and pension systems; and the corresponding educational market of students and instructors in the disciplines of actuarial science, business, demography, economics, finance, gerontology, public policy and sociology. The software developed as part of the project will allow researchers and students to answer a greatly expanded set of substantive and analytical questions.