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Time Inconsistent Preferences and the Annuitization Decision

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  • Schreiber, Philipp
  • Weber, Martin

Abstract

When entering retirement most people face the decision whether they would like their defined contribution account balance paid as a lump sum or to annuitize the amount. The fact that people tend to choose the lump sum even if economic reasons suggest not to is called the annuity puzzle. In a large online survey, we find that people behave time inconsistent: older people have a stronger tendency to choose the lump sum than younger people. This effect is considerably stronger for participants that answer simple time preference questions inconsistently. Our findings suggest to think about precommitment devices for the annuitization decision.

Suggested Citation

  • Schreiber, Philipp & Weber, Martin, 2015. "Time Inconsistent Preferences and the Annuitization Decision," CEPR Discussion Papers 10383, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10383
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    Cited by:

    1. Giesecke, Matthias & Yang, Guanzhong, 2018. "Are financial retirement incentives more effective if pension knowledge is high?," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(3), pages 278-315, July.
    2. David Huffman & Raimond Maurer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2016. "Time Discounting and Economic Decision-making among the Elderly," Working Papers wp347, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    3. Kieren, Pascal & Weber, Martin, 2019. "When saving is not enough: The wealth decumulation decision in retirement," CFS Working Paper Series 634, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    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

    annuities; annuity puzzle; behavioral finance; insurance; longevity risk; survey study;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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