Annuity markets and benefit design in multi-pillar pension schemes : experience and lessons from four Latin American countries
A growing number of countries have introduced mandatory defined contribution schemes. As these schemes mature, their success will increasingly depend on how well they translate accumulated funds into a stream of retirement income. Successful reforms will rely on a well regulated, and competitive insurance sector. They will strike a balance between individual preferences, and public policy objectives, such as providing a reasonable amount of longevity insurance. This paper describes the benefit stage in four Latin American countries, and presents preliminary evidence on their emerging annuities markets. We find that these markets are less transparent than they should be, and that supervision is less strict than during the accumulation period. Annuities markets will grow dramatically in the coming decades as the reforms mature. Growth depends on policy variables, such as the use of recognition bonds, as well as initial conditions. The markets in Peru and Colombia, will be much smaller than those in Chile and Argentina, in both absolute, and relative terms. The immaturity of the schemes, and temporarily limited flow of new pensioners, should be viewed as a window of opportunity for improving supervision, increasing transparency, and educating workers.
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