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Betting on death and capital markets in retirement: A shortfall risk analysis of life annuities versus phased withdrawal plans

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  • Dus, Ivica
  • Maurer, Raimond H.
  • Mitchell, Olivia S.

Abstract

How might retirees consider deploying the retirement assets accumulated in a defined contribution pension plan? One possibility would be to purchase an immediate annuity. Another approach, called the 'phased withdrawal' strategy in the literature, would have the retiree invest his funds and then withdraw some portion of the account annually. Using this second tactic, the withdrawal rate might be determined according to a fixed benefit level payable until the retiree dies or the funds run out, or it could be set using a variable formula, where the retiree withdraws funds according to a rule linked to life expectancy. Using a range of data consistent with the German experience, we evaluate several alternative designs for phased withdrawal strategies, allowing for endogenous asset allocation patterns, and also allowing the worker to make decisions both about when to retire and when to switch to an annuity. We show that one particular phased withdrawal rule is appealing since it offers relatively low expected shortfall risk, good expected payouts for the retiree during his life, and some bequest potential for the heirs. We also find that unisex mortality tables if used for annuity pricing can make women's expected shortfalls higher, expected benefits higher, and bequests lower under a phased withdrawal program. Finally, we show that delayed annuitization can be appealing since it provides higher expected benefits with lower expected shortfalls, at the cost of somewhat lower anticipated bequests.

Suggested Citation

  • Dus, Ivica & Maurer, Raimond H. & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2004. "Betting on death and capital markets in retirement: A shortfall risk analysis of life annuities versus phased withdrawal plans," CFS Working Paper Series 2004/01, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:200401
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    Cited by:

    1. Huang, H. & Milevsky, M. A. & Wang, J., 2004. "Ruined moments in your life: how good are the approximations?," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 421-447, June.
    2. Wolfram Horneff & Raimond Maurer & Olivia Mitchell & Ivica Dus, 2006. "Optimizing the Retirement Portfolio: Asset Allocation, Annuitization, and Risk Aversion," Working Papers wp124, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    3. MacDonald, Bonnie-Jeanne & Cairns, Andrew J.G., 2011. "Three retirement decision models for defined contribution pension plan members: A simulation study," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-18, January.
    4. Ferro, Gustavo, 2008. "Un impulso al mercado de rentas vitalicias en España
      [Promoting the annuities market in Spain]
      ," MPRA Paper 20211, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2008.
    5. Thorburn, Craig & Rocha, Roberto & Morales, Marco, 2007. "An analysis of money's worth ratios in Chile," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(03), pages 287-312, November.
    6. Sun Wei & Triest Robert K. & Webb Anthony, 2008. "Optimal Retirement Asset Decumulation Strategies: The Impact of Housing Wealth," Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-29, September.
    7. Estelle James & Guillermo Martinez & Augusto Iglesias, 2005. "The Payout Stage in Chile: Who Annuitizes and Why?," Working Papers 14, Superintendencia de Pensiones, revised May 2007.
    8. Wolfram Horneff & Raimond Maurer & Olivia Mitchell & Michael Stamos, 2007. "Money in Motion: Dynamic Portfolio Choice in Retirement," Working Papers wp152, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    9. David Blake & Tom Boardman, 2014. "Spend More Today Safely: Using Behavioral Economics to Improve Retirement Expenditure Decisions With SPEEDOMETER Plans," Risk Management and Insurance Review, American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 17(1), pages 83-112, March.
    10. Ferro, Gustavo, 2008. "On annuities: an overview of the issues," MPRA Paper 20209, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2009.
    11. Vanya Horneff & Raimond Maurer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2016. "Putting the Pension Back in 401(k) Plans: Optimal versus Default Longevity Income Annuities," NBER Working Papers 22717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Pang, Gaobo & Warshawsky, Mark, 2010. "Optimizing the equity-bond-annuity portfolio in retirement: The impact of uncertain health expenses," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 198-209, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Insurance; Pensions; Retirement and Retirement Policies; Social Security and Public Pensions;

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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