Administrative costs and the organization of individual retirement account systems : a comparative perspective
What is the most cost-effective way to organize individual accounts that are part of a mandatory social security system? Defined-contribution individual account components of social security systems are criticized for being too expensive. The authors investigate the cost-effectiveness of two methods for constructing mandatory individual accounts: a) Investing through the retail market with relatively open choice among investment companies (the method first used by Chile and adopted by most Latin American countries). b) Investing through the institutional market with constrained choice. For the retail market, they use data from mandatory pension funds in Chile and other Latin American countries and from voluntary mutual funds in the United States. For the institutional market, they use data from systems in Bolivia and Sweden and from larger pension plans and the federal Thrift Saving Plan in the United States. The institutional approaches aggregate numerous small accounts into large blocks of money and negotiate fees on a centralized basis, often through competitive bidding. They retain workers'choice o some funds. Fees and costs are kept low by reducing incentives for marketing, avoiding excess capacity at system start-up, and constraining choice to investment portfolio that are inexpensive to manage. In developed financial markets, the biggest potential cost saving stems from constrained portfolio choice, especially from a concentration on passive investment. The biggest cost saving for a given portfolio and for countries with weak financial markets comes from reduced marketing activities. In the retail market, where annualized fees and costs range from 0.8 percent to 1.5percent of assets, use of the institutional market in individual retirement account systems has reduced those fees and costs to less than 0.2 percent to 0.6 percent of assets. This reduction can increase pensions by 10 - 20 percent relative to the retail market. Countries that can surmount rebidding problems, weaker performance incentives, inflexibility in the face of unforeseen contingencies, and an increased probability of corruption, collusion, and regulatory capture should seriously consider the institutional approach, especially at the start-up of a new multipillar system or for systems with small asset bases.
|Date of creation:||28 Feb 2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Malhotra, D K & McLeod, Robert W, 1997. "An Empirical Analysis of Mutual Fund Expenses," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 20(2), pages 175-90, Summer.
- Queisser, Monika & Vittas, Dimitri, 2000. "The Swiss multi-pillar pension system : triumph of common sense?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2416, The World Bank.
- D. K. Malhotra & Robert W. McLeod, 1997. "An Empirical Analysis Of Mutual Fund Expenses," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 20(2), pages 175-190, 06.
- Ippolito, Richard A, 1992. "Consumer Reaction to Measures of Poor Quality: Evidence from the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 45-70, April.
- Estelle James & Gary Ferrier & James Smalhout & Dimitri Vittas, 1999.
"Mutual Funds and Institutional Investments: What is the Most Efficient Way to Set Up Individual Accounts in a Social Security System?,"
NBER Working Papers
7049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Estelle James & Gary Ferrier & James H. Smalhout & Dimitri Vittas, 2000. "Mutual Funds and Institutional Investments: What Is the Most Efficient Way to Set Up Individual Accounts in a Social Security System?," NBER Chapters, in: Administrative Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 77-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James, Estelle & Ferrier, Gary & Smalhout, James & Vittas, Dimitri, 1999. "Mutual funds and institutional investments - what is the most efficient way to set up individual accounts in a social security system?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2099, The World Bank.
- Blake, David, 2000. "Does It Matter What Type of Pension Scheme You Have?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(461), pages F46-81, February.
- Shah, Ajay & Fernandes, Kshama, 2000. "The relevance of index funds for pension investment in equities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2494, The World Bank.
- Olivia S. Mitchell, 1998.
"Administrative Costs in Public and Private Retirement Systems,"
in: Privatizing Social Security, pages 403-456
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Olivia S. Mitchell, . "Administrative Costs in Public and Private Retirement Systems," Pension Research Council Working Papers 96-4, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
- Olivia S. Mitchell, 1996. "Administrative Costs in Public and Private Retirement Systems," NBER Working Papers 5734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2554. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.