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The Management of Decumulation Risks in a Defined Contribution Pension Plan

Gerrard, R. J. G., Haberman, S. & Vigna, E. (2006). The Management of Decumulation Risks in a Defined Contribution Pension Plan. North American Actuarial Journal, 10(1), pp. 84-110. doi: 10.1080/10920277.2006.10596241


The aim of the paper is to lay the theoretical foundations for the construction of a flexible tool that can be used by pensioners to find optimal investment and consumption choices in the distribution phase of a defined contribution pension plan. The investment/consumption plan is adopted until the time of compulsory annuitization, taking into account the possibility of earlier death. The effect of the bequest motive and the desire to buy a higher annuity than the one purchasable at retirement are included in the objective function. The mathematical tools provided by dynamic programming techniques are applied to find closed-form solutions: numerical examples are also presented. In the model, the tradeoff between the different desires of the individual regarding consumption and final annuity can be dealt with by choosing appropriate weights for these factors in the setting of the problem. Conclusions are twofold. First, we find that there is a natural time-varying target for the size of the fund, which acts as a sort of safety level for the needs of the pensioner. Second, the personal preferences of the pensioner can be translated into optimal choices, which in turn affect the distribution of the consumption path and of the final annuity.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the North American Actuarial Journal in 2006, available online:
Publisher Keywords: distribution phase, stochastic optimal control, bequest motive
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Departments: Bayes Business School > Actuarial Science & Insurance
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor:
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