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The fair surrender value of a tontine


  • Weinert, Jan-Hendrik


A tontine provides a mortality driven, age-increasing payout structure through the pooling of mortality. Because a tontine does not entail any guarantees, the payout structure of a tontine is determined by the pooling of individual characteristics of tontinists. Therefore, the surrender decision of single tontinists directly affects the remaining members' payouts. Nevertheless, the opportunity to surrender is crucial to the success of a tontine from a regulatory as well as a policyholder perspective. Therefore, this paper derives the fair surrender value of a tontine, first on the basis of expected values, and then incorporates the increasing payout volatility to determine an equitable surrender value. Results show that the surrender decision requires a discount on the fair surrender value as security for the remaining members. The discount intensifies in decreasing tontine size and increasing risk aversion. However, tontinists are less willing to surrender for decreasing tontine size and increasing risk aversion, creating a natural protection against tontine runs stemming from short-term liquidity shocks. Furthermore we argue that a surrender decision based on private information requires a discount on the fair surrender value as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Weinert, Jan-Hendrik, 2017. "The fair surrender value of a tontine," ICIR Working Paper Series 26/17, Goethe University Frankfurt, International Center for Insurance Regulation (ICIR).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:icirwp:2617

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nordahl, Helge A., 2008. "Valuation of life insurance surrender and exchange options," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 909-919, June.
    2. Filip Uzelac & Alexander Szimayer, 2014. "Valuation of equity-linked life insurance contracts with surrender guarantees in a regime-switching rational expectation model," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 357-368, February.
    3. Cannon, Edmund & Tonks, Ian, 2008. "Annuity Markets," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199216994.
    4. Milevsky, Moshe A. & Salisbury, Thomas S., 2015. "Optimal retirement income tontines," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 91-105.
    5. Weinert, Jan-Hendrik & Gr√ľndl, Helmut, 2016. "The modern tontine: An innovative instrument for longevity risk management in an aging society," ICIR Working Paper Series 22/16, Goethe University Frankfurt, International Center for Insurance Regulation (ICIR).
    6. Bacinello, Anna Rita, 2005. "Endogenous model of surrender conditions in equity-linked life insurance," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 270-296, October.
    7. Anna Rita Bacinello, 2003. "Fair Valuation of a Guaranteed Life Insurance Participating Contract Embedding a Surrender Option," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 70(3), pages 461-487.
    8. Siu, Tak Kuen, 2005. "Fair valuation of participating policies with surrender options and regime switching," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 533-552, December.
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    More about this item


    Life Insurance; Tontines; Annuities; Life Insurance Surrender;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • 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
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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