The Design and Production of New Retirement Savings Products
Boston University - Department of Finance & Economics
Dwight B. Crane
Harvard Business School - Finance Unit
January 28, 1998
Harvard Business School Working Paper No. 98-070
As pension plans in the U.S. and other countries shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans, employees are being asked to bear investment risk formerly borne by employers and/or governments. Using a simulation model, this paper examines the performance of alternative investment strategies and products over the working life of a hypothetical employee. The results illustrate the uncertainty inherent in standard investment products and suggest the need for new products that would help employees manage investment risk. The paper explores the performance of investment products that provide a floor on the value of the worker's investment over some period of time, say five years, and also provide some share of the upside of the equity market. These products appear to work well; for example, workers who invest their annual retirement contributions in a series of five-year insured products appear to have a higher chance of achieving their retirement income target than if they were to invest the same amount in the S&P 500 index.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
JEL Classification: G1, G12, G14
Date posted: April 1, 1998
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