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The determinants of annuitization: evidence from Sweden

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  • Johannes Hagen

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Abstract

Despite the fact that the increasing involvement of the private sector in pension provision has brought more flexibility to the pay-out phase of retirement, little is known about the characteristics of those who choose to annuitize their pension wealth and those who do not. I combine unique micro-data from a large Swedish occupational pension plan with rich national administrative data to study the choice between life annuities and fixed-term payouts with a minimum payout length of 5 years for 183,000 retiring white-collar workers. I find that low accumulation of assets is strongly associated with the choice of the 5-year payout. Consistent with individuals selecting payout length based on private information about their mortality prospects, individuals who choose the 5-year payout are in worse health, exhibit higher ex-post mortality rates and have shorter-lived parents than annuitants. Individuals also seem to respond to large, tax-induced changes in annuity prices. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:22:y:2015:i:4:p:549-578
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-015-9360-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dennis Fredriksen & Christian N. Brinch & Ola L. Vestad, 2017. "Life expectancy and claiming behavior in a flexible pension system," Discussion Papers 859, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    2. Bütler, Monika & Ramsden, Alma, 2017. "How taxes impact the choice between an annuity and the lump sum at retirement," Economics Working Paper Series 1701, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    3. Bütler, Monika & Ramsden, Alma, 2016. "Pricing annuities: The role of taxation in retirement decisions," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145525, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Hagen, Johannes & Hallberg, Daniel & Sjögren Lindquist, Gabriella, 2018. "A nudge to quit? The effect of a change in pension information on annuitization, labor supply and retirement choices among older workers," GLO Discussion Paper Series 209, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Annuity puzzle; Longevity insurance; Occupational pension; Adverse selection; Administrative data; D91; H55; J26; J32;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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