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What makes annuitization more appealing?

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  • Beshears, John
  • Choi, James J.
  • Laibson, David
  • Madrian, Brigitte C.
  • Zeldes, Stephen P.

Abstract

We conduct and analyze two large surveys of hypothetical annuitization choices. We find that allowing individuals to annuitize a fraction of their wealth increases annuitization relative to a situation where annuitization is an “all or nothing” decision. Very few respondents choose declining real payout streams over flat or increasing real payout streams of equivalent expected present value. Highlighting the effects of inflation increases demand for cost of living adjustments. Frames that highlight flexibility, control, and investment significantly reduce annuitization. A majority of respondents prefer to receive an extra “bonus” payment during one month of the year that is funded by slightly lower payments in the remaining months. Concerns about later-life income, spending flexibility, and counterparty risk are the most important self-reported motives that influence the annuitization decision.

Suggested Citation

  • Beshears, John & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C. & Zeldes, Stephen P., 2014. "What makes annuitization more appealing?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 2-16.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:116:y:2014:i:c:p:2-16
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.05.007
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    • John Beshears & James Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2012. "What Makes Annuitization More Appealing?," NBER Chapters,in: Retirement Benefits for State and Local Employees: Designing Pension Plans for the Twenty-First Century National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    Cited by:

    1. Touria Jaaidane & Robert J. Gary-Bobo, 2015. "The Evaluation of Pension Reforms in the Public Sector: A Case Study of the Paris Subway Drivers," CESifo Working Paper Series 5431, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Johannes Hagen, 2015. "The determinants of annuitization: evidence from Sweden," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(4), pages 549-578, August.
    3. Schreiber, Philipp & Weber, Martin, 2016. "Time inconsistent preferences and the annuitization decision," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 37-55.
    4. repec:bla:jrinsu:v:84:y:2017:i:s1:p:319-343 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sutcliffe, Charles, 2015. "Trading death: The implications of annuity replication for the annuity puzzle, arbitrage, speculation and portfolios," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 163-174.
    6. Catherine Donnelly & Montserrat Guillén & Jens Perch Nielsen, 2015. "On the practical implementation of retirement gains by using an upside and a downside terminal wealth constraint," Working Papers 2015-07, Universitat de Barcelona, UB Riskcenter.
    7. Cannon, Edmund & Tonks, Ian, 2016. "Cohort mortality risk or adverse selection in annuity markets?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 68-81.
    8. Dillingh, Rik, 2016. "Empirical essays on behavioral economics and lifecycle decisions," Other publications TiSEM 0e2143e3-bd86-4302-90eb-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    9. Fuster, Andreas & Zafar, Basit, 2014. "The sensitivity of housing demand to financing conditions: evidence from a survey," Staff Reports 702, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 Aug 2015.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Annuity; Pension; Retirement income; Framing;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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