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Pension Benefit Insurance and Pension Plan Portfolio Choice

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  • Thomas Crossley
  • Mario Jametti

Abstract

Pension benefit guarantee policies have been introduced in several countries to pro- tect private pension plan members from the loss of income that would occur if a plan was underfunded when the sponsoring firm terminates a plan. Most of these public insurance schemes face financial dificulty and consequently policy reforms are being discussed or implemented. Economic theory suggests that such schemes will face moral hazard and adverse selection problems. In this note we test a specific theoretical prediction -- insured plans will invest more heavily in risky assets. Our test exploits differences in insurance arrangements across Canadian jurisdictions. We find that insured plans invest about 5 percent more in equities than do similar plans without benefit guarantees.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers with number 237.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:237

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Keywords: Pensions; benefit guarantee; moral hazard;

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References

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  1. David W. Wilcox, 2006. "Reforming the Defined-Benefit Pension System," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 37(1), pages 235-304.
  2. Cooper, Russell W. & Ross, Thomas W., 2003. "Protecting underfunded pensions: the role of guarantee funds," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(03), pages 247-272, November.
  3. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
  4. Mario Jametti, 2008. "Underfunding of Defined Benefit Pension Plans and Benefit Guarantee Insurance: An Overview of Theory and Evidence," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(s1), pages 39-46, November.
  5. Nielson, Norma L. & Chan, David K. W., 2007. "Private pensions and government guarantees: clues from Canada," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 45-66, March.
  6. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  7. Zvi Bodie, 1991. "Pension Funds and Financial Innovation," NBER Working Papers 3101, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2007. "Guaranteed Trouble: The Economic Effects of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation," NBER Working Papers 13438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Sharpe, William F., 1976. "Corporate pension funding policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 183-193, June.
  10. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Evidence From Maternity Leave Expansions of the Impact of Maternal Care on Early Child Development," NBER Working Papers 13826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Gebhard Kirchgassner, 2009. "Die Krise der Wirtschaft: Auch eine Krise der Wirtschaftswissenschaften?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2009-15, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).

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