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What Drives Pension Indexation in Turbulent Times? An Empirical Examination of Dutch Pension Funds

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  • Dirk Broeders

    ()

  • Paul Hilbers
  • David Rijsbergen
  • Ningli Shen
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    Abstract

    This paper identifies the key factors influencing indexation decisions in turbulent economic times within defined benefit plans using a unique panel dataset of 166 Dutch pension funds from 2007 to 2010. Key drivers of indexation are the funding ratio, inflation and real wage growth. The type of pension fund and the interest rate exposure are also statistically significant, although the latter effect is nonlinear. The asset allocation has no significant effect on the level of provided indexation as this is already captured by the funding ratio. We also examine the relation between policy ladders and the actual level of provided indexation. This study finds that a policy ladder with an upper limit equal to a 100 % real funding ratio is able to predict the actual level of indexation more accurately than a ladder with an upper limit based on a pension fund’s required nominal funding ratio. The latter tends to overestimate the actual level of indexation. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10645-014-9223-y
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal De Economist.

    Volume (Year): 162 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 41-70

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:decono:v:162:y:2014:i:1:p:41-70

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100260

    Related research

    Keywords: Indexation; Policy ladders; Defined benefit pension plans; G12; G13; G23;

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    References

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    1. Maarten Rooij & Arjen Siegmann & Peter Vlaar, 2008. "Market Valuation, Pension Fund Policy and Contribution Volatility," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 73-93, March.
    2. Cui, Jiajia & Jong, Frank De & Ponds, Eduard, 2011. "Intergenerational risk sharing within funded pension schemes," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 1-29, January.
    3. Bikker, Jacob A. & De Dreu, Jan, 2009. "Operating costs of pension funds: the impact of scale, governance, and plan design," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(01), pages 63-89, January.
    4. Broeders, Dirk & Chen, An, 2010. "Pension regulation and the market value of pension liabilities: A contingent claims analysis using Parisian options," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1201-1214, June.
    5. Ponds, E.H.M. & Riel, B. van, 2009. "Sharing risk: The Netherlands' new approach to pensions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3129589, Tilburg University.
    6. Bodie, Zvi, 1976. "Common Stocks as a Hedge against Inflation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 459-70, May.
    7. Ponds, Eduard H. M. & Riel, Bart Van, 2009. "Sharing risk: the Netherlands' new approach to pensions," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(01), pages 91-105, January.
    8. Roel Beetsma & Alessandro Bucciol, 2011. "Differentiating Indexation in Dutch Pension Funds," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 323-360, September.
    9. Gordon L Clark & Paul Bennett, 2001. "Dutch sector-wide supplementary pensions: fund governance, European competition policy, and the geography of finance," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 33(1), pages 27-48, January.
    10. de Haan, Leo & Kakes, Jan, 2011. "Momentum or contrarian investment strategies: Evidence from Dutch institutional investors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 2245-2251, September.
    11. Dirk Broeders, 2010. "Valuation of Contingent Pension Liabilities and Guarantees Under Sponsor Default Risk," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 77(4), pages 911-934.
    12. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
    13. Fama, Eugene F, 1981. "Stock Returns, Real Activity, Inflation, and Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 545-65, September.
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