IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/uts/rpaper/248.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Means-Tested Income Support, Portfolio Choice and Decumulation in Retirement

Author

Abstract

We investigate the impact of means tested public income transfers on post-retirement decumulation and portfolio choice using theoretical simulations and panel data on Australian Age Pensioners. Means tested public pension payments in Australia have broad coverage and give insight into the incentive responsiveness of well-off, as well as poorer households. Via numerical solutions to a discrete time, finite horizon dynamic programming problem, we simulate the optimal consumption and portfolio allocation strategies for a retired household subject to assets and income tests. Relative to benchmark, means tested households should optimally decumulate faster early in retirement, and choose more risky portfolios. Panel data tests on inferred wealth for pensioner households show evidence of more rapid spending early in retirement. However they also show that better-off households continue to accumulate, even when facing a steeper implicit tax rate on wealth than applies to poorer households. Wealthier households also hold riskier portfolios. Results from tests for Lorenz dominance of the panel wealth distribution show no decrease in wealth inequality over the five years of the study.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Thorp & Hardy Hulley & Rebecca McKibbin & Andreas Pedersen, 2009. "Means-Tested Income Support, Portfolio Choice and Decumulation in Retirement," Research Paper Series 248, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Handle: RePEc:uts:rpaper:248
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.uts.edu.au/sites/default/files/qfr-archive-02/QFR-rp248.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hazel Bateman & Susan Thorp, 2008. "Choices and Constraints over Retirement Income Streams: Comparing Rules and Regulations," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages 17-31, September.
    2. Erik Hurst & James P. Ziliak, 2006. "Do Welfare Asset Limits Affect Household Saving?: Evidence from Welfare Reform," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
    3. Neumark, David & Powers, Elizabeth, 2000. "Welfare for the elderly: the effects of SSI on pre-retirement labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 51-80, October.
    4. Jonathan Gruber & Aaron Yelowitz, 1999. "Public Health Insurance and Private Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1249-1274, December.
    5. Attanasio, Orazio P, et al, 1999. "Humps and Bumps in Lifetime Consumption," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 22-35, January.
    6. Courtney Coile & Kevin Milligan, 2009. "How Household Portfolios Evolve After Retirement: The Effect Of Aging And Health Shocks," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(2), pages 226-248, June.
    7. Axel Börsch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2006. "Ageing, Pension Reform and Capital Flows: A Multi-Country Simulation Model," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(292), pages 625-658, November.
    8. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2001. "The Life-Cycle Model of Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    9. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 1992. "Saving and Consumption Patterns of the Elderly: The German Case," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 5(4), pages 289-303.
    10. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
    11. Hubbard, R Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 360-399, April.
    12. Bütler, Monika & Peijnenburg, Kim & Staubli, Stefan, 2017. "How much do means-tested benefits reduce the demand for annuities?," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(04), pages 419-449, October.
    13. Garry F. Barrett & Stephen G. Donald & Debopam Bhattacharya, 2014. "Consistent Nonparametric Tests for Lorenz Dominance," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(1), pages 1-13, January.
    14. James P. Ziliak, 2003. "Income Transfers and Assets of the Poor," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 63-76, February.
    15. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2005. "Differential mortality, uncertain medical expenses, and the saving of elderly singles," Working Paper Series WP-05-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    16. James Sefton & Justin vandeVen & Martin Weale, 2008. "Means Testing Retirement Benefits: fostering equity or discouraging savings?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 556-590, April.
    17. Sheetal K. Chand & Albert Jaeger, 1996. "Aging Populations and Public Pension Schemes," IMF Occasional Papers 147, International Monetary Fund.
    18. Jessica A. Wachter & Motohiro Yogo, 2010. "Why Do Household Portfolio Shares Rise in Wealth?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(11), pages 3929-3965, November.
    19. Robert Novy-Marx & Joshua D. Rauh, 2008. "The Intergenerational Transfer of Public Pension Promises," NBER Working Papers 14343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
    21. Martin Browning & Sule Alan, 2006. "Estimating Intertemporal Allocation Parameters using Simulated Expectation Errors," Economics Series Working Papers 284, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    22. Michael D. Hurd & Daniel McFadden & Angela Merrill, 2001. "Predictors of Mortality among the Elderly," NBER Chapters,in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 171-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Petrichev, Konstantin & Thorp, Susan, 2008. "The private value of public pensions," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 1138-1145, June.
    24. Hazel Bateman (ed.), 2007. "Retirement Provision in Scary Markets," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3489, April.
    25. Neumark, David & Powers, Elizabeth, 1998. "The effect of means-tested income support for the elderly on pre-retirement saving: evidence from the SSI program in the U.S," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 181-206, May.
    26. Cho, Sang-Wook (Stanley) & Sane, Renuka, 2013. "Means-Tested Age Pensions And Homeownership: Is There A Link?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(06), pages 1281-1310, September.
    27. Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2004. "Do the Rich Save More?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 397-444, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Alexandra Spicer & Olena Stavrunova & Susan Thorp, 2016. "How Portfolios Evolve after Retirement: Evidence from Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 92(297), pages 241-267, June.
    2. repec:eee:insuma:v:75:y:2017:i:c:p:32-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Fedor Iskhakov & Susan Thorp & Hazel Bateman, 2015. "Optimal Annuity Purchases for Australian Retirees," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 91(293), pages 139-154, June.
    4. Jinhui Zhang & Sachi Purcal & Jiaqin Wei, 2017. "Optimal Time to Enter a Retirement Village," Risks, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-20, March.
    5. repec:bla:econpa:v:35:y:2016:i:4:p:359-374 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Johan G. Andreasson & Pavel V. Shevchenko, 2016. "The 2015-2017 policy changes to the means-tests of Australian Age Pension: implication to decisions in retirement," Papers 1611.08330, arXiv.org.
    7. repec:gam:jrisks:v:5:y:2017:i:3:p:47-:d:111425 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Johan G. Andreasson & Pavel V. Shevchenko & Alex Novikov, 2016. "Optimal Consumption, Investment and Housing with Means-tested Public Pension in Retirement," Papers 1606.08984, arXiv.org.
    9. Geoffrey Kingston & Lance Fisher, 2014. "Down the Retirement Risk Zone with Gun and Camera," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 33(2), pages 153-162, June.
    10. repec:gam:jrisks:v:5:y:2017:i:4:p:57-:d:117091 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:eee:joecag:v:7:y:2016:i:c:p:17-29 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    retirement wealth; life-cycle saving; public pension; portfolio choice;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

    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:uts:rpaper:248. 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: (Duncan Ford). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/qfutsau.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.