IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Defined-Contribution (DC) Arrangements in Anglo-Saxon Countries


  • John Ashcroft


This paper provides a comparative analysis of defined contribution (DC) pension systems in Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. There are considerable similarities in the systems which have evolved out of employer sponsored trust-based defined benefit (DB) systems and have expanded at different rates as DB has declined. The plans predominantly offer individual accounts with a choice of funds, with virtually no guarantees of performance and few regulatory restrictions on investment. Most funds are heavily invested in equities, although there is a move in some of the countries to life-styling investments in the run-up to retirement. The paper finds notable contrasts between fiduciary requirements, the regulation of transparency and charges and the approach to the pay-out phase, which raise some important public policy questions. Systèmes de pension à cotisations définies dans les pays anglo-saxons Ce document présente une analyse comparative des systèmes de pension à cotisations définies en Australie, en Irlande, au Royaume-Uni et aux États-Unis. Il existe de grandes similitudes dans les systèmes à cotisations définies qui tendent à remplacer les systèmes d‘entreprise à prestations définies gérés par des « trusts », selon des rythmes différents à mesure que la part des systèmes à prestations définies se réduit. Les plans à cotisations définies sont essentiellement bâtis sur des comptes individuels qui offrent un choix de fonds sur lesquels investir. Ils n‘apportent pratiquement pas de garantie de performance et les contraintes réglementaires en matière de placements auxquelles ils sont soumis sont limitées. La plupart des fonds sont fortement investis en actions, bien qu‘on assiste au développement, dans certains pays, de fonds à horizon dont le portefeuille d‘investissements se modifie à mesure que le souscripteur approche de la retraite. L‘étude relève des différences notables dans les exigences fiduciaires, dans les règles de transparence et dans les frais mis à la charge des participants, ainsi que dans les modalités de déblocage de l‘épargne, ce qui soulève d‘importantes questions dans l‘optique de l‘action des pouvoirs publics.

Suggested Citation

  • John Ashcroft, 2009. "Defined-Contribution (DC) Arrangements in Anglo-Saxon Countries," OECD Working Papers on Insurance and Private Pensions 35, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:dafaab:35-en

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    cotisations définies; default options; defined contribution; fonds de pension; options par défaut; pension fund; pensions privées; private pensions;

    JEL classification:

    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:oec:dafaab:35-en. 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: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.