IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/20124.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Accounting and Actuarial Smoothing of Retirement Payouts in Participating Life Annuities

Author

Listed:
  • Raimond Maurer
  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • Ralph Rogalla
  • Ivonne Siegelin

Abstract

Life insurers use accounting and actuarial techniques to smooth reporting of firm assets and liabilities, seeking to transfer surpluses in good years to cover benefit payouts in bad years. Nevertheless, these techniques been criticized as they make it difficult to assess insurers' true financial status. We develop stylized and realistically-calibrated models of participating lifetime annuities, an insurance product that pays retirees guaranteed lifelong benefits along with variable non-guaranteed surplus. Our goal is to illustrate how accounting and actuarial techniques for this type of financial contract shape policyholder wellbeing, along with insurer profitability and stability. Smoothing adds value to both the annuitant and the insurer, so curtailing smoothing could undermine the market for long-term retirement payout products.

Suggested Citation

  • Raimond Maurer & Olivia S. Mitchell & Ralph Rogalla & Ivonne Siegelin, 2014. "Accounting and Actuarial Smoothing of Retirement Payouts in Participating Life Annuities," NBER Working Papers 20124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20124
    Note: AG
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w20124.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ralph S. J. Koijen & Motohiro Yogo, 2015. "The Cost of Financial Frictions for Life Insurers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 445-475, January.
    2. John Piggott & Emiliano A. Valdez & Bettina Detzel, 2005. "The Simple Analytics of a Pooled Annuity Fund," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 72(3), pages 497-520.
    3. Zemp, Alexandra, 2011. "Risk comparison of different bonus distribution approaches in participating life insurance," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 249-264, September.
    4. Comprix, Joseph & Muller III, Karl A., 2011. "Pension plan accounting estimates and the freezing of defined benefit pension plans," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 115-133, February.
    5. Alexander Bleck & Xuewen Liu, 2007. "Market Transparency and the Accounting Regime," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 229-256, May.
    6. Hann, Rebecca N. & Heflin, Frank & Subramanayam, K.R., 2007. "Fair-value pension accounting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 328-358, December.
    7. Ellul, Andrew & Jotikasthira, Chotibhak & Lundblad, Christian T. & Wang, Yihui, 2013. "Mark-to-market accounting and systemic risk: evidence from the insurance industry," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60968, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Sapra, Haresh, 2008. "Do accounting measurement regimes matter? A discussion of mark-to-market accounting and liquidity pricing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 379-387, August.
    9. Thomas Davidoff & Jeffrey R. Brown & Peter A. Diamond, 2005. "Annuities and Individual Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1573-1590, December.
    10. Beyer, Anne & Cohen, Daniel A. & Lys, Thomas Z. & Walther, Beverly R., 2010. "The financial reporting environment: Review of the recent literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 296-343, December.
    11. Joachim Inkmann & Paula Lopes & Alexander Michaelides, 2011. "How Deep Is the Annuity Market Participation Puzzle?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(1), pages 279-319.
    12. Gatzert, Nadine, 2008. "Asset management and surplus distribution strategies in life insurance: An examination with respect to risk pricing and risk measurement," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 839-849, April.
    13. Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena, 2008. "Mark-to-market accounting and liquidity pricing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 358-378, August.
    14. Christian Laux & Christian Leuz, 2010. "Did Fair-Value Accounting Contribute to the Financial Crisis?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 93-118, Winter.
    15. Robert Novy‐Marx & Joshua Rauh, 2011. "Public Pension Promises: How Big Are They and What Are They Worth?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(4), pages 1211-1249, August.
    16. Comprix, Joseph & Muller, Karl A., 2011. "Pension plan accounting estimates and the freezing of defined benefit pension plans," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 115-133.
    17. Andrew J. G. Cairns & David Blake & Kevin Dowd, 2006. "A Two-Factor Model for Stochastic Mortality with Parameter Uncertainty: Theory and Calibration," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 73(4), pages 687-718.
    18. Laux, Christian & Leuz, Christian, 2009. "The crisis of fair-value accounting: Making sense of the recent debate," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(6-7), pages 826-834, August.
    19. Brown, Jeffrey R. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Poterba, James M. & Warshawsky, Mark J., 2001. "The Role of Annuity Markets in Financing Retirement," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262529130, January.
    20. Bohnert, Alexander & Gatzert, Nadine, 2012. "Analyzing surplus appropriation schemes in participating life insurance from the insurer’s and the policyholder’s perspective," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 64-78.
    21. Grosen, Anders & Lochte Jorgensen, Peter, 2000. "Fair valuation of life insurance liabilities: The impact of interest rate guarantees, surrender options, and bonus policies," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 37-57, February.
    22. Kling, Alexander & Richter, Andreas & Ru[ss], Jochen, 2007. "The interaction of guarantees, surplus distribution, and asset allocation in with-profit life insurance policies," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 164-178, January.
    23. Raimond Maurer & Olivia S. Mitchell & Ralph Rogalla & Vasily Kartashov, 2013. "Lifecycle Portfolio Choice With Systematic Longevity Risk and Variable Investment—Linked Deferred Annuities," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 80(3), pages 649-676, September.
    24. Heaton, John C. & Lucas, Deborah & McDonald, Robert L., 2010. "Is mark-to-market accounting destabilizing? Analysis and implications for policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 64-75, January.
    25. Linnemann, Per & Bruhn, Kenneth & Steffensen, Mogens, 2015. "A comparison of modern investment-linked pension savings products," Annals of Actuarial Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 72-84, March.
    26. Guillen, Montserrat & Jorgensen, Peter Lochte & Nielsen, Jens Perch, 2006. "Return smoothing mechanisms in life and pension insurance: Path-dependent contingent claims," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 229-252, April.
    27. Maurer, Raimond & Rogalla, Ralph & Siegelin, Ivonne, 2013. "Participating Payout Life Annuities: Lessons from Germany," ASTIN Bulletin: The Journal of the International Actuarial Association, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(02), pages 159-187, May.
    28. Milevsky, Moshe A. & Young, Virginia R., 2007. "Annuitization and asset allocation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 3138-3177, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:revdev:v:20:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11147-017-9131-9 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20124. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.