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Intergenerational Risk-Sharing and Risk-Taking of a Pension Fund

  • Christian Gollier

By using their financial reserves efficiently, pension funds can smooth shocks on asset returns, and can thus facilitate intergenerational risk-sharing. In addition to the primary benefit of improved time diversification, this form of risk allocation affords the additional benefit of allowing these funds to take better advantage of the equity premium, which also favors the consumers. In this paper, our aim is twofold. First, we characterize the socially efficient policy rules of a collective pension plan in terms of portfolio management, capital payments to retirees, and dividend payments to shareholders. We examine both the first-best rules and the second-best rules, where, in the latter case, the fund is constrained by a solvency ratio and by a guaranteed minimum return to workers’ contributions. Second, we measure the social surplus of the system compared to a situation in which each generation would save and invest in isolation for its own retirement. One of the main results of the paper is that better intergenerational risk-sharing does not reduce the risk born by each generation. Rather, it increases the expected return to the workers’ contributions.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1969.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1969
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  1. Bodie, Zvi & Merton, Robert C. & Samuelson, William F., 1992. "Labor supply flexibility and portfolio choice in a life cycle model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 427-449.
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  10. Gollier, Christian, 2002. "Time diversification, liquidity constraints, and decreasing aversion to risk on wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1439-1459, October.
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  13. Gary Burtless, 2000. "Social Security Privatization and Financial Market Risk: Lessons from U.S. Financial History," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 211, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  14. Epstein, Larry G., 1983. "Decreasing absolute risk aversion and utility indices derived from cake-eating problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 245-264, April.
  15. Georges De Menil & Fabrice Murtin & Eytan Sheshinski, 2006. "Planning for the optimal mix of paygo tax and funded savings," Post-Print halshs-00754168, HAL.
  16. Krueger, Dirk & Kübler, Felix, 2005. "Pareto Improving Social Security Reform when Financial Markets Are Incomplete," CEPR Discussion Papers 5039, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  18. Angus Deaton, 1989. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 3196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-57, August.
  20. Gollier, Christian, 2005. "Optimal Portfolio Management for Individual Pension Plans," IDEI Working Papers 298, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  21. Cui, Jiajia & Jong, Frank De & Ponds, Eduard, 2011. "Intergenerational risk sharing within funded pension schemes," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 1-29, January.
  22. de Vries, Casper G & Teulings, Coen N, 2004. "Generational Accounting, Solidarity and Pension Losses," CEPR Discussion Papers 4209, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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