Pensions as Retirement Income Insurance
This paper develops the view that employer-sponsored pension plans are best understood as retirement income insurance for employees and from that perspective addresses a number of questions regarding the reasons for their existence, their design, and their funding and investment policies. The most important of these questions are: - Why do employers provide pension plans for their employees and why is participation usually mandatory? - Why is the defined benefit form of pension plan the dominant one rather than defined contribution? - Why are the payout options under most plans limited to life annuities? - Why are most plans integrated with Social Security? - Why don't corporate pension plans follow the extreme funding and asset allocation policies that seem to be optimal from the perspective of shareholder wealth maximization? - Why do employers often make ad hoc increases in pension benefits not strictly required under the formula in defined benefit plans? - Why don't private pensions offer inflation insurance?
|Date of creation:||Apr 1989|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Journal of Economic Literature, March 1990, Vol. 28, No. 1.|
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- Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1987. "Issues in Pension Economics," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi87-1, August.
- Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Avia Spivak, 1979.
"The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
151, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1988. "Pensions in the U.S. Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi88-1, August.
- Zvi Bodie & Alex Kane & Robert L. McDonald, 1986. "Risk and Required Returns on Debt and Equity," NBER Chapters, in: Financing Corporate Capital Formation, pages 51-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bulow, Jeremy I, 1982. "What Are Corporate Pension Liabilities?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 435-52, August.
- Gary S. Fields & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1984. "Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262060914, June.
- Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1988. "Introduction to "Pensions in the U.S. Economy"," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions in the U.S. Economy, pages 1-8 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zvi Bodie, 1988. "Pension Fund Investment Policy," NBER Working Papers 2752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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