The impact of scale, complexity, and service quality on the administrative costs of pension funds: A cross-country comparison
AbstractAdministrative costs per participant appear to vary widely across pension funds in different countries. These costs are important because they reduce the rate of return on the investments of pension funds, and consequently raise the cost of retirement security. Using unique data on 90 pension funds over the period 2004-2008, this paper examines the impact of scale, the complexity of pension plans, and service quality on the administrative costs of pension funds, and compares those costs across Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the US. We find that, except for Canada, large unused economies of scale exist. Analyses on a disaggregated level confirm economies of scale for small and medium pension funds. Even though the pension funds in the sample are among the largest in the world, further cost savings appear to be possible. Higher service quality and more complex pension plans significantly raise costs, whereas offering only one pension plan reduces costs, as does a relatively large share of deferred (or sleeping) participants. Administrative costs vary significantly across pension fund types, with differences amounting to 100%.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 10-15.
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: P.O. Box 80125, NL-3508 TC Utrecht
Phone: +31 30 253 9800
Fax: +31 30 253 7373
Web page: http://www.uu.nl/EN/faculties/leg/organisation/schools/schoolofeconomicsuse/Pages/default.aspx
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Jacob A. Bikker & Onno W. Steenbeek & Federico Torracchi, 2012. "The Impact of Scale, Complexity, and Service Quality on the Administrative Costs of Pension Funds: A Cross-Country Comparison," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 79(2), pages 477-514, 06.
- Jacob Bikker & Onno Steenbeek & Federico Torracchi, 2010. "The impact of scale, complexity, and service quality on the administrative costs of pension funds: A cross-country comparison," DNB Working Papers 258, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
- G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGE-2010-10-02 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2010-10-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2010-10-02 (European Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Jakob Bikker & Thijs Knaap & Ward Romp, 2011.
"Real Pension Rights as a Control Mechanism for Pension Fund Solvency,"
DNB Working Papers
311, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
- Jacob A. Bikker & Thijs Knaap & Ward Romp, 2011. "Real Pension Rights as a Control Mechanism for Pension Fund Solvency," Working Papers 11-15, Utrecht School of Economics.
- Jacob A. Bikker, 2013.
"Is there an optimal pension fund size? A scale-economy analysis of administrative and investment costs,"
13-06, Utrecht School of Economics.
- Jacob Bikker, 2013. "Is there an optimal pension fund size? A scale-economy analysis of administrative and investment costs," DNB Working Papers 376, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thijs Knaap).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.