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Mortality Risk, Inflation Risk, and Annuity Products

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey R. Brown & Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba, 2000. "Mortality Risk, Inflation Risk, and Annuity Products," NBER Working Papers 7812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7812
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1999. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1299-1318, December.
    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. Brown, Jeffrey R. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Poterba, James M. & Warshawsky, Mark J., 1999. "Taxing Retirement Income: Nonqualified Annuities and Distributions From Qualified Accounts," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(3), pages 563-592, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Jeffrey R. Brown & Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba, 2001. "The Role of Real Annuities and Indexed Bonds in an Individual Accounts Retirement Program," NBER Chapters,in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 321-370 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. David Blake, 1999. "Annuity Markets: Problems and Solutions," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 24(3), pages 358-375, July.
    8. 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.
    9. James F. Moore & Olivia S. Mitchell, "undated". "Projected Retirement Wealth and Saving Adequacy," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-1, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark J. Warshawsky, 1990. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-154.
    13. Boudoukh, Jacob & Richardson, Matthew, 1993. "Stock Returns and Inflation: A Long-Horizon Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1346-1355, December.
    14. Zvi Bodie, 1989. "Inflation Insurance," NBER Working Papers 3009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Olivia S. Mitchell & David McCarthy, 2002. "Annuities for an Ageing World," CeRP Working Papers 21, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
    2. Impavido, Gregorio & Thorburn, Craig & Wadsworth, Mike, 2004. "A conceptual framework for retirement products : Risk sharing arrangements between providers and retirees," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3208, The World Bank.
    3. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 2004. "Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets: Policyholder Evidence from the U.K. Annuity Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 183-208, February.
    4. Olivia S. Mitchell, 2001. "Developments in Decumulation: The Role of Annuity Products in Financing Retirement," NBER Working Papers 8567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2003. "The Trick Is to Live: Is the Estate Tax Social Security for the Rich?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1318-1341, December.
    6. Alicia H. Munnell & Annika Sunden & Mauricio Soto & Catherine Taylor, 2002. "How Will The Rise In 401(K) Plans Affect Bequests?," Issues in Brief ib-10, Center for Retirement Research.
    7. Jeffrey R. Brown & Amy Finkelstein, 2004. "Supply or Demand: Why is the Market for Long-Term Care Insurance So Small?," NBER Working Papers 10782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Agnieszka Konicz & David Pisinger & Alex Weissensteiner, 2015. "Optimal annuity portfolio under inflation risk," Computational Management Science, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 461-488, July.
    9. Jeffrey R. Brown & Mark J. Warshawsky, 2001. "Longevity-Insured Retirement Distributions from Pension Plans: Market and Regulatory Issues," NBER Working Papers 8064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Friedberg Leora & Webb Anthony, 2007. "Life Is Cheap: Using Mortality Bonds to Hedge Aggregate Mortality Risk," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-33, July.
    11. Palmer, Edward, 2008. "The market for retirement products in Sweden," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4748, The World Bank.
    12. 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.
    13. Andrew A. Samwick & Jonathan Skinner, 2004. "How Will 401(k) Pension Plans Affect Retirement Income?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 329-343, March.
    14. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2000. "How Should We Insure Longevity Risk In Pensions And Social Security?," Issues in Brief ib-4, Center for Retirement Research.
    15. Suzanne Doyle & Olivia S. Mitchell & John Piggott, 2001. "Annuity Values in Defined Contribution Retirement Systems: The Case of Singapore and Australia," NBER Working Papers 8091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Carlos Vidal-Melia & Ana Lejárraga-García, 2004. "The Bequest Motive And Single People’S Demand For Life Annuities," Public Economics 0405005, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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