IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sef/csefwp/147.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Pension benefit default risk and welfare effects of funding regulation

Author

Listed:

Abstract

This paper analyzes the welfare effects of funding regulation for defined benefit pension plans subject to pension benefit default risk in an incomplete financial markets OLG-setting with aggregate uncertainty and idiosyncratic pension default risk. The financial market incompleteness arises from the inability to trade human capital claims. Using numerical methods to solve for equilibrium, we show first that default-free defined benefit pension plans are welfare-improving even in a dynamically efficient economy. Second, we show that in the presence of default risk funding regulations improve aggregate welfare by making larger size plans more attractive and that full funding is not necessarily the optimal policy. Our results provide a rationale for the widespread underfunding of defined benefit pension plans and might explain the decline of these plans after the introduction of stringent funding regulation in the US

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Steinberger, 2005. "Pension benefit default risk and welfare effects of funding regulation," CSEF Working Papers 147, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:147
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.csef.it/WP/wp147.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert C. Merton, 1981. "On the Role of Social Security as a Means for Efficient Risk-Bearing in an Economy Where Human Capital Is Not Tradeable," NBER Working Papers 0743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Besley, Timothy & Prat, Andrea, 2003. "Pension fund governance and the choice between defined benefit and defined contribution plans," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24853, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-620, September.
    4. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2003. "Macroeconomic Effects of Regulation and Deregulation in Goods and Labor Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 879-907.
    5. Burt S. Barnow & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1979. "The Costs of Defined Benefit Pension Plans and Firm Adjustments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 523-540.
    6. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Christopher I. & Yaron, Amir, 2004. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 609-633, April.
    7. Krueger, Dirk & Kubler, Felix, 2004. "Computing equilibrium in OLG models with stochastic production," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1411-1436, April.
    8. Irwin Tepper, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Pension Policy," NBER Working Papers 0661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Huffman, Gregory W, 1987. "A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of Asset Prices and Transaction Volume," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 138-159, February.
    10. Zvi Bodie & Alan J. Marcus & Robert C. Merton, 1988. "Defined Benefit versus Defined Contribution Pension Plans: What are the Real Trade-offs?," NBER Chapters,in: Pensions in the U.S. Economy, pages 139-162 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Breeden, Douglas T., 1979. "An intertemporal asset pricing model with stochastic consumption and investment opportunities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 265-296, September.
    12. Ippolito, Richard A, 1985. "The Labor Contract and True Economic Pension Liabilities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1031-1043, December.
    13. Gur Huberman & Paul Sengmueller, 2004. "Performance and Employer Stock in 401(k) Plans," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 403-443.
    14. Cocco, Joao F. & Lopes, Paula, 2004. "Defined benefit or defined contribution?: an empirical study of pension choices," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24751, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Sharpe, William F., 1976. "Corporate pension funding policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 183-193, June.
    16. Cooper, Russell W. & Ross, Thomas W., 2001. "Pensions: theories of underfunding," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 667-689, December.
    17. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
    18. Charles I. Jones, 2005. "The Shape of Production Functions and the Direction of Technical Change," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 517-549.
    19. Dirk Krueger & Felix Kubler, 2002. "Intergenerational Risk-Sharing via Social Security when Financial Markets Are Incomplete," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 407-410, May.
    20. Tepper, Irwin, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Pension Policy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(1), pages 1-13, March.
    21. Sundaresan, Suresh & Zapatero, Fernando, 1997. "Valuation, Optimal Asset Allocation and Retirement Incentives of Pension Plans," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(3), pages 631-660.
    22. Judd, Kenneth L., 1992. "Projection methods for solving aggregate growth models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 410-452, December.
    23. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-879.
    24. Spear, Stephen E., 1988. "Existence and local uniqueness of functional rational expectations equilibria in dynamic economic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 124-155, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    generations; pension default; funding regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

    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:sef:csefwp:147. 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: (Lia Ambrosio). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cssalit.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.