Are defined contribution pension schemes socially sustainable? A conceptual map from a macroprudential perspective
If the combined retirement income, provided by public and private defined contribution (DC) pension schemes, falls below socially acceptable standards, there is a political risk that consensus seeker policymakers could yield to pressures to commit future fiscal revenues. These contingent liabilities, when incorporated in markets’ expectations, are bound to create spillovers on sovereign risk, with negative feedback loops on the capital adequacy of banks and of other intermediaries, owing to losses on their government paper. Among the causes of reduced annuities out of the final assets in DC pension funds is an equity risk premium much lower than the commonly values advertised by the industry and by policymakers. From a macroprudential perspective, this political risk should be taken into account in stress tests assessing banks’ resilience to financial shocks.
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