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Pension Risk, Retirement Saving and Insurance

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  • Luigi Guiso
  • Tullio Jappelli
  • Mario Padula

Abstract

Using a representative sample of Italian investors, we estimate the risk associated with pension benefits by eliciting for each individual the subjective distribution of the replacement rate as a summary indicator of social security wealth. We find substantial heterogeneity of pension risk and show that it is consistently related to observable features in the pension system that have different effects on individuals with different characteristics. We then relate subjective pension risk to individuals’ financial decisions. We find that people try to attenuate the adverse consequences of pension wealth uncertainty by increasing demand for targeted retirement saving and for insurance. Individuals facing more pension wealth risk tend to enroll more often in private pension funds, invest more in life insurance and buy more private health insurance. These effects are consistent with people becoming more risk-averse when pension wealth becomes less predictable, leading them to search for greater financial security.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2009/18.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2009/18

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Keywords: Pension Risk; Retirement Saving; Insurance;

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References

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  1. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
  2. Feldstein, Martin & Pellechio, Anthony, 1979. "Social Security and Household Wealth Accumulation: New Microeconometric Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(3), pages 361-68, August.
  3. Richard Disney & Sarah Tanner, 1999. "What can we learn from retirement expectations data?," IFS Working Papers W99/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2002. "Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World: Micro Estimation," NBER Working Papers 9407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Adeline Delavande & Susann Rohwedder, 2008. "Eliciting Subjective Expectations in Internet Surveys," Working Papers 589, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  6. Orazio P. Attanasio & Agar Brugiavini, 2003. "Social Security And Households' Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1075-1119, August.
  7. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 2006. "Measuring Pension-benefit Expectations Probabilistically," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(2), pages 201-236, 06.
  8. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2001. "Tax Incentives and the Demand for Life Insurance: Evidence from Italy," CSEF Working Papers 52, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  9. Orazio P. Attanasio & Susann Rohwedder, 2003. "Pension Wealth and Household Saving: Evidence from Pension Reforms in the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1499-1521, December.
  10. Gollier, Christian & Pratt, John W, 1996. "Risk Vulnerability and the Tempering Effect of Background Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1109-23, September.
  11. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
  12. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Retirement expectations, pension reforms, and their impact on private wealth accumulation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2187-2212, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Adeline Delavande & Susann Rohwedder, 2010. "Individuals' Uncertainty about Future Social Security Benefits and Portfolio Choice," Working Papers 782, RAND Corporation Publications Department.

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