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Real Pension Rights as a Control Mechanism for Pension Fund Solvency

  • Jakob Bikker
  • Thijs Knaap
  • Ward Romp

This paper models policy responses to changes in solvency by Dutch occupational pension funds using a unique panel dataset containing the balance sheets of all registered pension funds in the Netherlands over a period of 15 years (1993-2007). The model describes how nominal pension rights are expanded, by e.g. indexation or backservice, or, on the contrary, how the current pension accumulation is skimmed, e.g. by setting the pension premium over its actuarially fair price to build buffers. Policy responses are explained by the funding ratio and other pension fund characteristics such as pension funds� size and type, and participants' ages. We find that pension rights are expanded in line with the funding ratio, but that the pension funds' response function exhibits two sharp and significant behavioural breaks, close to the minimum funding ratio of 105% and the target ratio of around 125%. These levels also play a pivotal role in current supervisory regulation. We further find that large pension funds and grey funds are relatively generous to participants.

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File URL: http://www.dnb.nl/en/binaries/working%20paper%20311_tcm47-257057.pdf
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Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 311.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:311
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Web page: http://www.dnb.nl/en/

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  1. J.A. Bikker & D.W.G.A Broeders & J. de Dreu, 2007. "Stock Market Performance and Pension Fund Investment Policy: Rebalancing, Free Float, or Market Timing," Working Papers 07-27, Utrecht School of Economics.
  2. Jacob A. Bikker & Dirk W. G. A. Broeders & David A. Hollanders & Eduard H. M. Ponds, 2012. "Pension Funds’ Asset Allocation and Participant Age: A Test of the Life-Cycle Model," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 79(3), pages 595-618, 09.
  3. Jacob A. Bikker & Onno W. Steenbeek & Federico Torracchi, 2012. "The Impact of Scale, Complexity, and Service Quality on the Administrative Costs of Pension Funds: A Cross-Country Comparison," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 79(2), pages 477-514, 06.
  4. J. de Dreu & J.A. Bikker, 2009. "Pension fund sophistication and investment policy," Working Papers 09-13, Utrecht School of Economics.
  5. Bovenberg, A.L. & Koijen, R.S.J. & Nijman, T.E. & Teulings, C.N., 2007. "Saving and investing over the life cycle and the role of collective pension funds," Other publications TiSEM 6eab1341-eda5-4f21-8c06-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  6. Bikker, Jacob A. & De Dreu, Jan, 2009. "Operating costs of pension funds: the impact of scale, governance, and plan design," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(01), pages 63-89, January.
  7. J.A. Bikker & D.W.G.A Broeders & D. A. Hollanders & E. H.M. Ponds, 2009. "Pension funds’ asset allocation and participant age: a test of the life-cycle model," Working Papers 09-25, Utrecht School of Economics.
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