Implications of money-back guarantees for individual retirement accounts: protection then and now

  • In the wake of the financial crisis and continued volatility in international capital markets, there is growing interest in mechanisms that can protect people against retirement account volatility. This paper explores the consequences for savers’ wellbeing of implementing market-based retirement account guarantees, using a life cycle consumption and portfolio choice model where investors have access to stocks, bonds, and tax-qualified retirement accounts. We evaluate the case of German Riester plans adopted in 2002, an individual retirement account produce that includes embedded mandatory money-back guarantees. These guarantees influenced participant consumption, saving, and investment behavior in the higher interest rate environment of that era, and they have even larger impacts in a low-return world such as the present. Importantly, we conclude that abandoning these guarantees could enhance old-age consumption for over 80% of retirees, particularly lower earners, without harming consumption during the accumulation phase. Our results are of general interest for other countries implementing default investment options in individual retirement accounts, such as the U.S. 401(k) defined contribution plans and the Pan European Pension Product (PEPP) recently launched by the European Parliament.

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Author:Vanya Horneff, Daniel Liebler, Raimond MaurerGND, Olivia S. MitchellORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-514913
URL:https://ssrn.com/abstract=3473626
Parent Title (English):SAFE working paper series ; No. 263
Series (Serial Number):SAFE working paper series (263)
Publisher:SAFE
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Working Paper
Language:English
Year of Completion:2019
Year of first Publication:2019
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/10/23
Tag:individual retirement account; investment guarantee; life cycle model; longevity risk; retirement income
Issue:October 21, 2019
Page Number:59
HeBIS-PPN:455257558
Institutes:Wirtschaftswissenschaften / Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / House of Finance (HoF)
Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / Center for Financial Studies (CFS)
Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe (SAFE)
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht