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Intergenerational Risk-Sharing and Risk-Taking of a Pension Fund

  • Gollier, Christian

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 Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 42.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Public Economics, vol.�92, n°5-6, juin 2008, p.�1463-1485.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:4415
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  1. de Vries, Casper G & Teulings, Coen N, 2004. "Generational Accounting, Solidarity and Pension Losses," CEPR Discussion Papers 4209, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
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  8. Henning Bohn, 2004. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing and Fiscal Policy," 2004 Meeting Papers 22, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Gollier, Christian, 2005. "Optimal Portfolio Management for Individual Pension Plans," IDEI Working Papers 298, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  10. 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.
  11. James M. Poterba & Joshua Rauh & Steven F. Venti, 2005. "Utility Evaluation of Risk in Retirement Saving Accounts," NBER Chapters, in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 13-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Otto van Hemert, 2005. "Optimal intergenerational risk sharing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24660, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Gordon, Roger H. & Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Intergenerational risk sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 185-202, November.
  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.
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