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The Design of Pension Pay Out Options When the Health Status during Retirement Is Uncertain

  • MATHIAS KIFMANN

This paper examines the optimal design of pension plans when the health status during retirement is uncertain. Assuming that the health status affects both life expectancy and the marginal utility of consumption, choice between a lump-sum payment and an annuity can be welfare-enhancing if the health status is not observable by pension plan providers. This result holds if the marginal utility of consumption and life expectancy are negatively correlated. On equity grounds, a lump-sum option can be justified even if the marginal utility of consumption is independent of life expectancy. Copyright � 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9779.2009.01450.x
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Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 12 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 127-149

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:12:y:2010:i:1:p:127-149
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  1. Michael D. Hurd & James P. Smith & Julie M. Zissimopoulos, 2002. "The Effects of Subjective Survival on Retirement and Social Security Claiming," NBER Working Papers 9140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Avia Spivak, 1979. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," NBER Working Papers 0362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Brugiavini, Agar, 1993. "Uncertainty resolution and the timing of annuity purchases," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 31-62, January.
  4. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991. "How Strong Are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Estimates of the Demand for Life Insurance and Annuities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 899-927, October.
  5. Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, 1997. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," NBER Working Papers 6002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alexis Direr, 2007. "Flexible Life Annuities," CESifo Working Paper Series 2125, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1985. "Annuity Prices and Saving Behavior in the United States," NBER Working Papers 1683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1988. "Annuity Prices and Saving Behavior in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions in the U.S. Economy, pages 53-84 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Thomas Davidoff & Jeffrey R. Brown & Peter A. Diamond, 2005. "Annuities and Individual Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1573-1590, December.
  10. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Kathleen McGarry, 2004. "Health and Retirement: Do Changes in Health Affect Retirement Expectations?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  12. Evans, William N & Viscusi, W Kip, 1991. "Estimation of State-Dependent Utility Functions Using Survey Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 94-104, February.
  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. Viscusi, W Kip & Evans, William N, 1990. "Utility Functions That Depend on Health Status: Estimates and Economic Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 353-74, June.
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