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Choosing the Optimal Annuitization Time Post Retirement

Author

Listed:
  • Russell Gerrard
  • Bjarne Højgaard
  • Elena Vigna

Abstract

In the context of decision making for retirees of a defined contribution pension scheme in the de-cumulation phase, we formulate and solve a problem of finding the optimal time of annuitization for a retiree having the possibility of choosing her own investment and consumption strategy. We formulate the problem as a combined stochastic control and optimal stopping problem. As criterion for the optimization we select a loss function that penalizes both the deviance of the running consumption rate from a desired consumption rate and the deviance of the final wealth at the time of annuitization from a desired target. We find closed form solutions for the problem and show the existence of three possible types of solutions depending on the free parameters of the problem. In numerical applications we find the optimal wealth that triggers annuitization, compare it with the desired target and investigate its dependence on both parameters of the financial market and parameters linked to the risk attitude of the retiree. Simulations of the behaviour of the risky asset seem to show that under typical situations optimal annuitization should occur a few years after retirement.

Suggested Citation

  • Russell Gerrard & Bjarne Højgaard & Elena Vigna, 2008. "Choosing the Optimal Annuitization Time Post Retirement," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 76, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:76
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
    2. Albrecht, Peter & Maurer, Raimond, 2001. "Self-Annuitization, Ruin Risk in Retirement and Asset Allocation: The Annuity Benchmark," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 01-35, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    3. Blake, David & Cairns, Andrew J. G. & Dowd, Kevin, 2003. "Pensionmetrics 2: stochastic pension plan design during the distribution phase," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 29-47, August.
    4. Milevsky, Moshe A. & Young, Virginia R., 2007. "Annuitization and asset allocation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 3138-3177, September.
    5. Blake, David & Cairns, Andrew J. G. & Dowd, Kevin, 2001. "Pensionmetrics: stochastic pension plan design and value-at-risk during the accumulation phase," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 187-215, October.
    6. Albrecht, Peter & Maurer, Raimond, 2002. "Self-Annuitization, Consumption Shortfall in Retirement and Asset Allocation: The Annuity Benchmark," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 269-288, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    defined contribution pension scheme; de-cumulation phase; stochastic optimal control; optimal annuitization time;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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