The appropriateness of default investment options in defined contribution plans: Australian evidence
AbstractFor participants in defined contribution (DC) plans who refrain from exercising investment choice, plan contributions are invested following the default investment option of their respective plans. Since default investment options of different plans vary widely in terms of their benchmark asset allocation, the most important determinant of investment performance, participants enrolled in these options face significantly different wealth outcomes at retirement. This paper simulates the terminal wealth outcomes under different static asset allocation strategies to evaluate their relative appeal as default investment choice in DC plans. We find that strategies with low or moderate allocation to stocks are consistently outperformed in terms of upside potential of exceeding the participant's wealth accumulation target at retirement as well as downside risk of falling below that target outcome by aggressive strategies whose allocation to stocks approach 100%. The risk of extremely adverse wealth outcomes for plan participants also does not appear to be very sensitive to asset allocation. Our evidence suggests the appropriateness of strategies heavily tilted towards stocks to be nominated as default investment options in DC plans unless plan providers emphasize predictability of wealth outcomes over adequacy of retirement wealth.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Pacific-Basin Finance Journal.
Volume (Year): 18 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/pacfin
Defined contribution Default option Pensions;
Other versions of this item:
- Anup K. Basu & Michael E. Drew, 2009. "The Appropriateness of Default Investment Options in Defined Contribution Plans: Australian Evidence," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:200903, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
- G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bawa, Vijay S., 1978. "Safety-First, Stochastic Dominance, and Optimal Portfolio Choice," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 255-271, June.
- Kevin Dowd & David Blake, 2006. "After VaR: The Theory, Estimation, and Insurance Applications of Quantile-Based Risk Measures," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 73(2), pages 193-229.
- Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001.
"THE POWER OF SUGGESTION: INERTIA IN 401(k) PARTICIPATION AND SAVINGS BEHAVIOR,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187, November.
- Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2000. "The Power of Suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) Participation and Savings Behavior," NBER Working Papers 7682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2009.
"The Importance of Default Options for Retirement Saving Outcomes: Evidence from the United States,"
in: Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment, pages 167-195
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2005. "The importance of default options for retirement saving outcomes: evidence from the United States," CeRP Working Papers 43, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
- John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2006. "The Importance of Default Options for Retirement Savings Outcomes: Evidence from the United States," NBER Working Papers 12009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Delong J. Bradford, 2008. "Stocks for the Long Run," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 5(7), pages 1-2, November.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2002.
"For Better or For Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior,"
JCPR Working Papers
256, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2004. "For Better or for Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 81-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2001. "For Better or For Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior," NBER Working Papers 8651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bawa, Vijay S., 1975. "Optimal rules for ordering uncertain prospects," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 95-121, March.
- James Poterba & Joshua Rauh & Steven Venti & David Wise, 2006.
"Lifecycle Asset Allocation Strategies and the Distribution of 401(k) Retirement Wealth,"
NBER Working Papers
11974, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James M. Poterba & Joshua Rauh & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2009. "Lifecycle Asset Allocation Strategies and the Distribution of 401(k) Retirement Wealth," NBER Chapters, in: Developments in the Economics of Aging, pages 15-50 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Henrik Cronqvist & Richard H. Thaler, 2004. "Design Choices in Privatized Social-Security Systems: Learning from the Swedish Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 424-428, May.
- Dan J. Laughhunn & John W. Payne & Roy Crum, 1980. "Managerial Risk Preferences for Below-Target Returns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(12), pages 1238-1249, December.
- Harlow, W. V. & Rao, Ramesh K. S., 1989. "Asset Pricing in a Generalized Mean-Lower Partial Moment Framework: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(03), pages 285-311, September.
- Blake, David & Lehmann, Bruce N & Timmermann, Allan, 1999. "Asset Allocation Dynamics and Pension Fund Performance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(4), pages 429-61, October.
- Matthew Rabin & Richard H. Thaler, 2001. "Anomalies: Risk Aversion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 219-232, Winter.
- Shefrin, Hersh & Statman, Meir, 2000. "Behavioral Portfolio Theory," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(02), pages 127-151, June.
- Philippe Artzner & Freddy Delbaen & Jean-Marc Eber & David Heath, 1999. "Coherent Measures of Risk," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 203-228.
- Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
- Tim Brailsford & John C. Handley & Krishnan Maheswaran, 2008. "Re-examination of the historical equity risk premium in Australia," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 48(1), pages 73-97.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.