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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
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1969
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  1. Henning Bohn, 2004. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing and Fiscal Policy," 2004 Meeting Papers 22, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Shiller, Robert J., 1999. "Social security and institutions for intergenerational, intragenerational, and international risk-sharing," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 165-204, June.
  3. Gordon, Roger H. & Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Intergenerational risk sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 185-202, November.
  4. 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.
  5. Georges de Menil & Eytan Sheshinski, 2004. "Planning for the Optimal Mix of Paygo Tax and Funded Savings," DELTA Working Papers 2004-15, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. Otto van Hemert, 2005. "Optimal intergenerational risk sharing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24660, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Angus Deaton, 1989. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 3196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Teulings, Coen & de Vries, Casper G., 2003. "Generational Accounting, Solidarity and Pension Losses," IZA Discussion Papers 961, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. 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.
  10. Salvador Valdés-Prieto, 2005. "Securitization of taxes implicit in PAYG pensions," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(42), pages 215-265, 04.
  11. Dirk Krueger & Felix Kubler, 2003. "Pareto Improving Social Security Reform when Financial Markets are Incomplete?," NBER Working Papers 9410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Piero Gottardi & Felix Kubler, 2006. "Social Security and Risk Sharing," Working Papers 2006_38, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  13. Samuelson, Paul A, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 239-46, August.
  14. Gollier, Christian, 2005. "Optimal Portfolio Management for Individual Pension Plans," IDEI Working Papers 298, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  15. Diamond, P. A., 1977. "A framework for social security analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 275-298, December.
  16. Gabrielle Demange & Guy Laroque, 1999. "Social Security and Demographic Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(3), pages 527-542, May.
  17. James Poterba & Joshua Rauh & Steven Venti & David Wise, 2003. "Utility Evaluation of Risk in Retirement Saving Accounts," NBER Working Papers 9892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Gabrielle Demange, 2001. "On optimality in intergenerational risk sharing," Post-Print halshs-00581414, HAL.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
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