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Can the Private Annuity Market Provide Secure Retirement Income?

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  • Allison C Schrager
  • George A Mackenzie

Abstract

Annuity premiums are often assumed to be constant, although they can be expected to vary with the yield curve. Variations in premiums will become an important public policy issue as defined-contribution (DC) pension plans play an increasingly prominent role in providing retirement income. As DC plan holders retire, many will annuitize at least a part of their account balances. In the absence of current data on annuity prices, the paper relies on U.S. Treasury interest rate data to simulate the impact of interest rate variation on annuity premiums. For a spectrum of feasible interest rates, the variation in retirement income is not negligible.

Suggested Citation

  • Allison C Schrager & George A Mackenzie, 2004. "Can the Private Annuity Market Provide Secure Retirement Income?," IMF Working Papers 04/230, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/230
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brown, Jeffrey R., 2001. "Private pensions, mortality risk, and the decision to annuitize," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 29-62, October.
    2. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 2004. "Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets: Policyholder Evidence from the U.K. Annuity Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 183-208, February.
    3. Ranguelova, Elena & Feldstein, Martin, 2001. "Individual Risk in an Investment-Based Social Security System," Scholarly Articles 2797440, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Martin Feldstein & Elena Ranguelova, 2001. "Individual Risk in an Investment-Based Social Security System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1116-1125, September.
    5. David Blake, 1999. "Annuity Markets: Problems and Solutions," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 24(3), pages 358-375, July.
    6. Irena Dushi & Anthony Webb, 2004. "Annuitization: Keeping Your Options Open," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2004-4, Center for Retirement Research, revised Mar 2004.
    7. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark J. Warshawsky, 1990. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-154.
    8. James M. Poterba, 1997. "The History of Annuities in the United States," NBER Working Papers 6001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1985. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 1682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Andrew A. Samwick & Jonathan Skinner, 2004. "How Will 401(k) Pension Plans Affect Retirement Income?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 329-343, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Angelo Marano & Carlo Mazzaferro & Marcello Morciano, 2012. "The strengths and failures of incentive mechanisms in notional defined contribution pension systems," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 71(1), pages 33-70, October.
    2. Ferro, Gustavo, 2008. "Un impulso al mercado de rentas vitalicias en España
      [Promoting the annuities market in Spain]
      ," MPRA Paper 20211, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2008.
    3. Ferro, Gustavo, 2008. "On annuities: an overview of the issues," MPRA Paper 20209, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2009.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Annuities; Pensions; Public pension systems; individual accounts; retirement; pension; retirement income; life annuity; bond; Social Security and Public Pensions;

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