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Mortality Risk, Inflation Risk, and Annuity Products

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  • Jeffrey R. Brown
  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • James M. Poterba

Abstract

As growing numbers of retirees reach retirement age with substantial balances in self-directed retirement plans, annuities are likely to become increasingly important instruments for drawing down retirement savings. This study explores recent trends in the pricing of single-premium annuity products in the United States. Virtually all of the annuity products currently available in the United States offer fixed nominal payouts, rather than an inflation-linked payout stream. After describing the money's worth' of the various types of nominal annuity products, this study considers the extent to which existing U.S. private annuity markets provide retirees with inflation-protected retirement income flows. Although there is effectively no market yet for inflation-indexed annuities in the United States, such products are available in other countries. The paper concludes by summarizing recent data on the pricing of both nominal and inflation-linked annuities in the United Kingdom and several other nations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7812.

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Date of creation: Jul 2000
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Publication status: published as Mitchell, O., Z. Bodie, B. Hammond, and S. Zeldes (eds.) Innovations in Retirement Financing. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7812

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References

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  1. Brown, Jeffrey R. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Poterba, James M. & Warshawsky, Mark J., 1999. "Taxing Retirement Income: Nonqualified Annuities and Distributions from Qualified Accounts," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 3), pages 563-92, September.
  2. Jeffrey R. Brown & Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba, 2001. "The Role of Real Annuities and Indexed Bonds in an Individual Accounts Retirement Program," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 321-370 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Friedman, Benjamin M & Warshawsky, Mark J, 1990. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-54, February.
  4. David Blake, 1999. "Annuity Markets: Problems and Solutions," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(3), pages 358-375, July.
  5. Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, 2000. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," NBER Working Papers 6002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1990. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 1682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Zvi Bodie & James E. Pesando, 1986. "Retirement Annuity Design in an Inflationary Climate," NBER Working Papers 0896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, 1999. "The Costs of Annuitizing Retirement Payouts from Individual Accounts," NBER Working Papers 6918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 1999. "Selection Effects in the Market for Individual Annuities: New Evidence from the United Kingdom," NBER Working Papers 7168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Zvi Bodie, 1989. "Inflation Insurance," NBER Working Papers 3009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Martin Feldstein & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Social Security," NBER Working Papers 8451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  12. Zvi Bodie, 2001. "Financial Engineering and Social Security Reform," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 291-320 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jeffrey R. Brown & James M. Poterba, 1999. "Joint Life Annuities and Annuity Demand by Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 7199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Boudoukh, Jacob & Richardson, Matthew, 1993. "Stock Returns and Inflation: A Long-Horizon Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1346-55, December.
  15. Brown, Jeffrey R., 2001. "Private pensions, mortality risk, and the decision to annuitize," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 29-62, October.
  16. James F. Moore & Olivia S. Mitchell, . "Projected Retirement Wealth and Saving Adequacy," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-1, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Suzanne Doyle & Olivia S. Mitchell & John Piggott, 2001. "Annuity Values in Defined Contribution Retirement Systems: The Case of Singapore and Australia," NBER Working Papers 8091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Palmer, Edward, 2008. "The market for retirement products in Sweden," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4748, The World Bank.
  3. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 2004. "Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets: Policyholder Evidence from the U.K. Annuity Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 183-208, February.
  4. Andrew A. Samwick & Jonathan Skinner, 2004. "How Will 401(k) Pension Plans Affect Retirement Income?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 329-343, March.
  5. Jeffrey R. Brown & Mark J. Warshawsky, 2001. "Longevity-Insured Retirement Distributions from Pension Plans: Market and Regulatory Issues," NBER Working Papers 8064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Olivia S. Mitchell & David McCarthy, 2002. "Annuities for an Ageing World," NBER Working Papers 9092, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Friedberg Leora & Webb Anthony, 2007. "Life Is Cheap: Using Mortality Bonds to Hedge Aggregate Mortality Risk," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-33, July.
  8. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2002. "The Trick is to Live: Is the Estate Tax Social Security for the Rich?," NBER Working Papers 9188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2007. "Rational and Behavioral Perspectives on the Role of Annuities in Retirement Planning," NBER Working Papers 13537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jeffrey R. Brown & Amy Finkelstein, 2004. "Supply or Demand: Why is the Market for Long-Term Care Insurance So Small?," NBER Working Papers 10782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Olivia S. Mitchell, 2001. "Developments in Decumulation: The Role of Annuity Products in Financing Retirement," NBER Working Papers 8567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Alicia H. Munnell & Annika Sunden & Mauricio Soto & Catherine Taylor, 2002. "How Will The Rise In 401(K) Plans Affect Bequests?," Issues in Brief ib-10, Center for Retirement Research.
  13. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2000. "How Should We Insure Longevity Risk In Pensions And Social Security?," Issues in Brief ib-4, Center for Retirement Research.
  14. Impavido, Gregorio & Thorburn, Craig & Wadsworth, Mike, 2004. "A conceptual framework for retirement products : Risk sharing arrangements between providers and retirees," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3208, The World Bank.
  15. Carlos Vidal-Melia & Ana Lejárraga-García, 2004. "The Bequest Motive And Single People’S Demand For Life Annuities," Public Economics 0405005, EconWPA.

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