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Aging, Asset Allocation, and Costs: Evidence for the Pension Fund Industry in Switzerland

  • René Weber
  • David S. Gerber
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    This paper focuses on the nexus between pension funds'' balance sheet liabilities, reflecting their age profile and payments obligations, and the investment behavior and costs of these funds. The context of the analysis is the stringent regulatory framework and the highly fragmented and heterogeneous pension fund landscape in Switzerland. Detailed data from the Swiss Pension Statistic are analyzed using multivariate OLS-regressions. The evidence shows that a younger age structure and lower short-term benefits payouts are related to a higher share of equities and lower real estate holdings. Legal form, pension plan type, and size are important for administrative costs. The findings support the view that aging may lead to increased risk aversion and thus to a lower engagement of institutional investors in equities.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/29.

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    Length: 27
    Date of creation: 01 Feb 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/29
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    1. Feldstein, Martin, 2005. "Structural Reform of Social Security," Scholarly Articles 2794830, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Axel Boersch-Supan & Florian Heiss & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2003. "Pension Reform, Capital Markets and the Rate of Return," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 151-181, 05.
    3. Estelle James & Gary Ferrier & James H. Smalhout & Dimitri Vittas, 2000. "Mutual Funds and Institutional Investments: What Is the Most Efficient Way to Set Up Individual Accounts in a Social Security System?," NBER Chapters, in: Administrative Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 77-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Martin Feldstein, 2005. "Structural Reform of Social Security," NBER Working Papers 11098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. James M. Poterba, 2001. "Demographic Structure And Asset Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 565-584, November.
    6. Peter A. Diamond, 2000. "Administrative Costs and Equilibrium Charges with Individual Accounts," NBER Chapters, in: Administrative Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 137-172 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Bakshi, Gurdip S & Chen, Zhiwu, 1994. "Baby Boom, Population Aging, and Capital Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(2), pages 165-202, April.
    8. Oecd, 2004. "Ageing and Financial Markets," Financial Market Trends, OECD Publishing, vol. 2004(1), pages 85-120.
    9. Alestalo, Noora & Puttonen, Vesa, 2006. "Asset allocation in Finnish pension funds," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 27-44, March.
    10. Nicholas Barr, 2002. "Reforming pensions : myths, truths, and policy choices," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 286, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Kieran Mc Morrow & Werner R�ger, 2003. "Economic and financial market consequences of ageing populations," European Economy - Economic Papers 182, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    12. Nicolas R. Blancher & François Haas & John Kiff & Oksana Khadarina & Paul S. Mills & Parmeshwar Ramlogan & William Lee & Yoon Sook Kim & Todd Groome & Shinobu Nakagawa, 2006. "The Limits of Market-Based Risk Transfer and Implications for Managing Systemic Risks," IMF Working Papers 06/217, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Gregory H. Chun & Brian A. Ciochetti & James D. Shilling, 2000. "Pension-Plan Real Estate Investment in an Asset-Liability Framework," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 28(3), pages 467-491.
    14. Junning Cai, 2004. "Baby Boom, Asset Market Meltdown and Liquidity Trap," Macroeconomics 0401002, EconWPA.
    15. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942, March.
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