How Will The Rise In 401(K) Plans Affect Bequests?
This brief explores how the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution pension plans might affect bequests and thereby consumption and saving. Bequests can occur under two different types of circumstances: (1) individuals plan to leave an inheritance for their heirs (an intended bequest); or (2) individuals have no specific inheritance plans, but die before consuming all of their assets (an unintended bequest). This brief concludes that both types of bequests will increase as retirees receive more of their pension benefits as lump-sum amounts rather than as annuity payments, which provide a lifetime stream of income.
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- Davies, James B, 1981. "Uncertain Lifetime, Consumption, and Dissaving in Retirement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 561-577, June.
- Jeffrey R. Brown & James M. Poterba, 1999. "Joint Life Annuities and Annuity Demand by Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 7199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jeffrey R. Brown & Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba, 2000. "Mortality Risk, Inflation Risk, and Annuity Products," NBER Working Papers 7812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.