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The Design of Pension Pay Out Options When the Health Status during Retirement Is Uncertain

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  • MATHIAS KIFMANN

Abstract

This paper examines the optimal design of pension plans when the health status during retirement is uncertain. Assuming that the health status affects both life expectancy and the marginal utility of consumption, choice between a lump-sum payment and an annuity can be welfare-enhancing if the health status is not observable by pension plan providers. This result holds if the marginal utility of consumption and life expectancy are negatively correlated. On equity grounds, a lump-sum option can be justified even if the marginal utility of consumption is independent of life expectancy. Copyright � 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

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Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 12 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 127-149

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:12:y:2010:i:1:p:127-149

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  1. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1985. "Annuity Prices and Saving Behavior in the United States," NBER Working Papers 1683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991. "How Strong Are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Estimates of the Demand for Life Insurance and Annuities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 899-927, October.
  3. Evans, William N & Viscusi, W Kip, 1991. "Estimation of State-Dependent Utility Functions Using Survey Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 94-104, February.
  4. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Avia Spivak, 1979. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," NBER Working Papers 0362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael D. Hurd & James P. Smith & Julie M. Zissimopoulos, 2002. "The Effects of Subjective Survival on Retirement and Social Security Claiming," Working Papers wp021, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  6. Kathleen McGarry, 2004. "Health and Retirement: Do Changes in Health Affect Retirement Expectations?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  7. Thomas Davidoff & Jeffrey R. Brown & Peter A. Diamond, 2003. "Annuities and Individual Welfare," NBER Working Papers 9714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, . "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," Pension Research Council Working Papers 97-9, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  9. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-32, August.
  10. Jeffrey R. Brown & James M. Poterba, 1999. "Joint Life Annuities and Annuity Demand by Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 7199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Brugiavini, Agar, 1993. "Uncertainty resolution and the timing of annuity purchases," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 31-62, January.
  12. Viscusi, W Kip & Evans, William N, 1990. "Utility Functions That Depend on Health Status: Estimates and Economic Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 353-74, June.
  13. Alexis Direr, 2007. "Flexible Life Annuities," CESifo Working Paper Series 2125, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1988. "Annuity Prices and Saving Behavior in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions in the U.S. Economy, pages 53-84 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Steinorth, Petra, 2012. "The demand for enhanced annuities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 973-980.

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