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Optimal portfolio allocation for corporate pension funds

  • McCarthy, David
  • Miles, David K

We model the asset allocation decision of a stylized corporate defined benefit pension plan in the presence of hedgeable and unhedgeable risks. We assume that plan fiduciaries--who make the asset allocation decision--face non-linear payoffs linked to the plan’s funding status because of the presence of pension insurance and a sponsoring employer who may share any shortfall or pension surplus. We find that even simple asymmetries in payoffs have large and highly persistent effects on asset allocation, while unhedgeable risks exert only a small effect. We conclude that institutional details are crucial in understanding DB pension asset allocation.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8198.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8198
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  1. Treynor, Jack L, 1977. "The Principles of Corporate Pension Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 627-38, May.
  2. Roel M. W. J. Beetsma & A. Lans Bovenberg, 2009. "Pensions and Intergenerational Risk-sharing in General Equilibrium," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(302), pages 364-386, 04.
  3. Marcus, Alan J, 1985. " Spinoff-Terminations and the Value of Pension Insurance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 911-24, July.
  4. Andreas Graflund & Birger Nilsson, 2003. "Dynamic Portfolio Selection: the Relevance of Switching Regimes and Investment Horizon," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 9(2), pages 179-200.
  5. Sharpe, William F., 1976. "Corporate pension funding policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 183-193, June.
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