Pensions as Retirement Income Insurance
AbstractThis paper develops the view that employer-sponsored pension plans are best understood as retirement income insurance for employees and from that perspective addresses a number of questions regarding the reasons for their existence, their design, and their funding and investment policies. The most important of these questions are: - Why do employers provide pension plans for their employees and why is participation usually mandatory? - Why is the defined benefit form of pension plan the dominant one rather than defined contribution? - Why are the payout options under most plans limited to life annuities? - Why are most plans integrated with Social Security? - Why don't corporate pension plans follow the extreme funding and asset allocation policies that seem to be optimal from the perspective of shareholder wealth maximization? - Why do employers often make ad hoc increases in pension benefits not strictly required under the formula in defined benefit plans? - Why don't private pensions offer inflation insurance?
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2917.
Date of creation: Apr 1989
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Publication status: published as Journal of Economic Literature, March 1990, Vol. 28, No. 1.
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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- Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Avia Spivak, 1979.
"The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
151, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Bulow, Jeremy I, 1982. "What Are Corporate Pension Liabilities?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 435-52, August.
- Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1988. "Introduction to "Pensions in the U.S. Economy"," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions in the U.S. Economy, pages 1-8 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Fields & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1984. "Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262060914, December.
- repec:fth:stanho:e-88-29 is not listed on IDEAS
- Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1988. "Pensions in the U.S. Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi88-1, May.
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