Hedging Pension Longevity Risk: Practical Capital Markets Solutions
Longevity risk transfer via the capital markets is now a reality. Pension plans and annuity providers can hedge longevity risk with capital markets instruments, reflecting the emergence of a new market that is poised to take off. The key players in this market are hedgers (pension plans and annuity providers), intermediaries (investment banks and broker-dealers) and end investors (ILS funds, hedge funds, endowments, etc.). We argue that the development of liquidity in this market depends on the acceptance of longevity indices and the development of standardized instruments to transfer this risk.Until now, hedgers of longevity risk have almost exclusively approached the subject from the perspective of indemnification (100 percent risk transfer). We propose an alternative approach based on a risk management paradigm that does not require 100 percent risk transfer and is consistent with the way in which other pension-related risks are managed. To this end we present a framework for longevity hedging cantered on standardized indexbased hedges. This framework uses a building-block approach in which standardized hedge building blocks are combined to provide a longevity hedge tailored to the specific demographics, benefit structure and mortality table of any pension plan. The effectiveness of this hedge is maximized by careful calibration of the mix of building blocks and then verified in hedge effectiveness tests.We also discuss customized longevity hedges that will be preferred by some hedgers, who are unconcerned by the lower liquidity and onerous requirements for data disclosure associated with these hedges, and are prepared to pay the additional premium above the cost of a standardized hedge.
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Volume (Year): 3 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
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