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On Consumption-Indexed Public Pension Plans

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  • Robert C. Merton

Abstract

Using the known result that life-cycle investors will optimally hold portfolios whose returns are perfectly correlated with aggregate consumption, this paper uses a simple intertemporal general equilibrium model to explore the merits and feasibility of pension plans where both accumulations and benefits are linked to aggregate per capita consumption. Although the analysis is made within the framework of a public pension plan, it applies equally well to organized private pension plans where participation is virtually mandatory and where individually designed programs are not practical. An additional feature of the plans examined is that they provide for life annuities during both the accumulation and retirement phases of the life cycle.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0910.

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Date of creation: Jun 1982
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Publication status: published as Merton, Robert C. "On Consumption-Indexed Public Pension Plans." Financial Aspects of the U.S. Pension System, edited by Zvi Bodie and John B. Shoven. Chicago: UCP, (1984), pp. 259-290.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0910

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Cited by:
  1. Edward P. Lazear, 1985. "Incentive Effects of Pensions," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions, Labor, and Individual Choice, pages 253-282 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Horneff, Wolfram J. & Maurer, Raimond H. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Dus, Ivica, 2008. "Following the rules: Integrating asset allocation and annuitization in retirement portfolios," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 396-408, February.
  3. Peter Diamond, 1994. "Insulation of Pensions from Political Risk," NBER Working Papers 4895, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Wolfram Horneff & Raimond Maurer & Olivia Mitchell & Ivica Dus, 2006. "Optimizing the Retirement Portfolio: Asset Allocation, Annuitization, and Risk Aversion," Working Papers wp124, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  5. Robert J. Shiller, 1998. "Social Security and Institutions for Intergenerational, Intragenerational, and International Risk Sharing," JCPR Working Papers 43, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  6. Dirk Broeders & Paul Hilbers & David Rijsbergen, 2013. "What drives pension indexation in turbulent times? An empirical examination of Dutch pension funds," DNB Working Papers 368, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  7. Robert J. Shiller, 1997. "Expanding the Scope of Individual Risk Management: Moral Hazard and Other Behavioral Considerations," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1145, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.

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