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Subjective Life Expectancy and Private Pensions

  • Bucher-Koenen, Tabea

    ()

  • Kluth, Sebastian

    ()

    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

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    One important parameter in the decision process when buying a private annuity is individuals' subjective life expectancy, because it directly influences the expected rate of return. We examine the market for private annuities in Germany and evaluate potential selection e ffects based on subjective life expectancy. First individuals are pessimistic about their life span compared to the official life tables. Second we find a significant selection e ffect based on subjective life expectancy for women who invest in private annuity contracts - so-called Riester pensions. For men there seems to be no diff erence in subjective life expectancy by Riester ownership. Comparing the size of this selection eff ect with the underlying loading in life expectancy charged by the insurance industry shows that the latter appears to be in line for women but very high for men. Our fi ndings have strong policy implications. On the one hand misperceptions about longevity risk might prevent individuals from providing sufficiently for retirement. On the other hand mandated unisex tari ffs might especially discourage men from investing in Riester pensions, for them premiums in life expectancy are particularly high compared to subjective expectations.

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    Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 12265.

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    Date of creation: 23 May 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:12265
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    1. Michael D. Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 2002. "The Predictive Validity of Subjective Probabilities of Survival," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 966-985, October.
    2. Hans-Martin von Gaudecker & Carsten Weber, 2004. "Surprises in a Growing Market Niche: An Evaluation of the German Private Life Annuities Market," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 29(3), pages 394-416, July.
    3. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1985. "Expectations, Life Expectancy, and Economic Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 389-408, May.
    4. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Essig, Lothar, 2005. "Personal assets and pension reform: How well prepared are the Germans?," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 05-19, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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    6. Amy Finkelstein & Kathleen McGarry, 2006. "Multiple Dimensions of Private Information: Evidence from the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 938-958, September.
    7. Giacomo Corneo & Matthias Keese & Carsten Schröder, 2009. "The Riester Scheme and Private Savings: An Empirical Analysis based on the German SOEP," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 129(2), pages 321-332.
    8. Gasche, Martin & Ziegelmeyer, Michael, 2010. "Verbreitung der Riester-Rente - Hat die Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise Spuren hinterlassen?," MEA discussion paper series 10198, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    9. Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, 1997. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," NBER Working Papers 6002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Gasche, Martin & Ziegelmeyer, Michael, 2009. "Auswirkungen der Finanzkrise auf die private Altersvorsorge," MEA discussion paper series 09193, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    11. Hans-Martin von Gaudecker & Carsten Weber, 2006. "Mandatory Unisex Policies And Annuity Pricing: Quasi-Experimental Evidence From Germany," MEA discussion paper series 06108, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    12. 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.
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    14. Smith, V. Kerry & Taylor, Donald H., Jr. & Sloan, Frank A., 2000. "Longevity Expectations and Death: Can People Predict Their Own Demise?," Working Papers 00-15, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    15. Johannes Geyer & Viktor Steiner, 2009. "Zahl der Riester-Renten steigt sprunghaft: aber Geringverdiener halten sich noch zurück," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 76(32), pages 534-541.
    16. Coppola, Michela & Reil-Held, Anette, 2009. "Dynamik der Riester-Rente: Ergebnisse aus SAVE 2003 bis 2008," MEA discussion paper series 09195, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    17. Coppola, Michela & Gasche, Martin, 2011. "Die Riester-Förderung – das unbekannte Wesen," MEA discussion paper series 11244, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    18. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2007. "Rational and Behavioral Perspectives on the Role of Annuities in Retirement Planning," NBER Working Papers 13537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Christian Pfarr & Udo Schneider, 2011. "Anreizeffekte und Angebotsinduzierung im Rahmen der Riester‐Rente: Eine empirische Analyse geschlechts‐ und sozialisationsbedingter Unterschiede," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 27-46, 02.
    20. Friedman, Benjamin M & Warshawsky, Mark J, 1990. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-54, February.
    21. Rothschild, Casey G., 2009. "Adverse selection in annuity markets: Evidence from the British Life Annuity Act of 1808," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 776-784, June.
    22. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Schunk, Daniel, 2008. "Saving incentives, old-age provision and displacement effects: evidence from the recent German pension reform," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 295-319, November.
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