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Mortality Risk, Inflation Risk, and Annuity Products

  • Jeffrey R. Brown
  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • James M. Poterba

As growing numbers of retirees reach retirement age with substantial balances in self-directed retirement plans, annuities are likely to become increasingly important instruments for drawing down retirement savings. This study explores recent trends in the pricing of single-premium annuity products in the United States. Virtually all of the annuity products currently available in the United States offer fixed nominal payouts, rather than an inflation-linked payout stream. After describing the money's worth' of the various types of nominal annuity products, this study considers the extent to which existing U.S. private annuity markets provide retirees with inflation-protected retirement income flows. Although there is effectively no market yet for inflation-indexed annuities in the United States, such products are available in other countries. The paper concludes by summarizing recent data on the pricing of both nominal and inflation-linked annuities in the United Kingdom and several other nations.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7812.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7812.

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Date of creation: Jul 2000
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Publication status: published as Mitchell, O., Z. Bodie, B. Hammond, and S. Zeldes (eds.) Innovations in Retirement Financing. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7812
Note: AG PE
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  1. James M. Poterba & Mark Warshawsky, 2000. "The Costs of Annuitizing Retirement Payouts from Individual Accounts," NBER Chapters, in: Administrative Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 173-206 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, . "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," Pension Research Council Working Papers 97-9, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  4. James F. Moore & Olivia S. Mitchell, . "Projected Retirement Wealth and Saving Adequacy," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-1, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Jeffrey R. Brown & Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, . "Taxing Retirement Income: Nonqualified Annuities and Distributions from Qualified Accounts," Pension Research Council Working Papers 99-3, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  6. Zvi Bodie, 2001. "Financial Engineering and Social Security Reform," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 291-320 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Zvi Bodie & James E. Pesando, 1983. "Retirement Annuity Design in an Inflationary Climate," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Aspects of the United States Pension System, pages 291-324 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Boudoukh, Jacob & Richardson, Matthew, 1993. "Stock Returns and Inflation: A Long-Horizon Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1346-55, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Jeffrey R. Brown & Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba, . "The Role of Real Annuities and Indexed Bonds In An Individual Accounts Retirement Program," Pension Research Council Working Papers 99-2, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  11. Jeffrey R. Brown & James M. Poterba, 1999. "Joint Life Annuities and Annuity Demand by Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 7199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 1999. "Selection Effects in the Market for Individual Annuities: New Evidence from the United Kingdom," NBER Working Papers 7168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1985. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 1682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. David Blake, 1999. "Annuity Markets: Problems and Solutions," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(3), pages 358-375, July.
  15. 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.
  16. Zvi Bodie, 1989. "Inflation Insurance," NBER Working Papers 3009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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