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Pension Risk, Retirement Saving and Insurance

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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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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 223.

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Date of creation: 24 Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:223

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Keywords: Pension Risk; Retirement Saving; Insurance;

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  1. 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.
  2. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Retirement expectations, pension reforms, and their impact on private wealth accumulation," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/10, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 2006. "Measuring Pension-benefit Expectations Probabilistically," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(2), pages 201-236, 06.
  4. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2003. "Tax incentives and the demand for life insurance: evidence from Italy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1779-1799, August.
  5. Adeline Delavande & Susann Rohwedder, 2008. "Eliciting Subjective Expectations in Internet Surveys," Working Papers 589, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  6. Richard Disney & Sarah Tanner, 1999. "What can we learn from retirement expectations data?," IFS Working Papers W99/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2004. "Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Micro-Estimation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub04-1, May.
  11. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
  12. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Adeline Delavande & Susann Rohwedder, 2011. "Individuals' uncertainty about future social security benefits and portfolio choice," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 498-519, 04.

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