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When can insurers offer products that dominate delayed old-age pension benefit claiming?

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Author Info

  • Sanders, Lisanne
  • De Waegenaere, Anja
  • Nijman, Theo E.

Abstract

It is common practice for public pension schemes to offer individuals the option to delay benefit claiming until after the normal retirement age, and increase the annual benefit level as a result. Existing literature shows that for non-liquidity constrained individuals, delaying benefit claiming for a number of years after retirement is optimal from a utility perspective in a wide variety of cases. In this paper we focus on non-liquidity constrained individuals who wish to defer pension benefits, and investigate the attractiveness of an alternative deferral strategy. The alternative deferral strategy consists of claiming benefits immediately, and using them to buy deferred annuities from an insurance company. We first determine conditions under which the accrual offered by the public pension scheme for delaying benefit claiming is less than actuarially fair from the viewpoint of an insurer who uses the prevailing term structure of interest rates to determine the expected present value of missed and additional benefits. Actuarial unfairness can be generated by, e.g., age-independent accrual rates or slow adjustments of the accrual rates to changes in interest rates. We find that, in particular for men, the degree of actuarial unfairness is such that there is ample room for insurers to profitably offer annuity products that make the alternative deferral strategy preferred to deferring benefit claiming. If individuals choose to strategically exploit these alternative deferral strategies, this will affect benefit claiming behavior in public pension schemes, which in turn affects long run program costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Insurance: Mathematics and Economics.

Volume (Year): 53 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 134-149

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Handle: RePEc:eee:insuma:v:53:y:2013:i:1:p:134-149

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505554

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Keywords: Pension benefit claiming; Delay options; Actuarial nonequivalence; Preference-free dominance;

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References

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  1. Michael Hurd & James P. Smith & Julie M. Zissimopoulos, 2003. "The Effects of Subjective Survival on Retirements and Social Security Claiming," Working Papers 03-11, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
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  8. Wolfram J. Horneff & Raimond H. Maurer & Michael Z. Stamos, 2008. "Optimal Gradual Annuitization: Quantifying the Costs of Switching to Annuities," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 75(4), pages 1019-1038.
  9. James E. Duggan & Christopher J. Soares, 2002. "Actuarial Nonequivalence in Early and Delayed Social Security Benefit Claims," Public Finance Review, , vol. 30(3), pages 188-207, May.
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  12. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
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