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Pension Funds with a Minimum Guarantee: A Stochastic Control Approach

Marina Di Giacinto

University of Cassino - Faculty of Economics

Fausto Gozzi


Federico Salvatore

LUISS Guido Carli University

July 29, 2008

Finance and Stochastics, Forthcoming

In this paper we propose and study a continuous time stochastic model of optimal allocation for a defined contribution pension fund with a minimum guarantee. Usually, portfolio selection models for pension funds maximize the expected utility from final wealth over a finite horizon (the retirement time), whereas our target is to maximize the expected utility from current wealth over an infinite horizon since we adopt the point of view of the fund manager.

In our model the dynamics of wealth takes directly into account the flows of contributions and benefits and the level of wealth is constrained to stay above a solvency level. The fund manager can invest in a riskless asset and in a risky asset but borrowing and short selling are prohibited.

We concentrate the analysis on the effect of the solvency constraint, analyzing in particular what happens when the fund wealth reaches the allowed minimum value represented by the solvency level.

The model is naturally formulated as an optimal stochastic control problem and is treated by the dynamic programming approach. We show that the value function of the problem is a regular solution of the associated Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equation. Then we apply verification techniques to get the optimal allocation strategy in feedback form and to study its properties. We finally give a special example with explicit solution.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

Keywords: Defined contribution pension fund, minimum guarantee, stochastic optimal control, dynamic programming, Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equation, viscosity solutions

JEL Classification: C61, G11, G23

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Date posted: January 31, 2007 ; Last revised: May 5, 2010

Suggested Citation

Di Giacinto, Marina and Gozzi, Fausto and Salvatore, Federico, Pension Funds with a Minimum Guarantee: A Stochastic Control Approach (July 29, 2008). Finance and Stochastics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=960459 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.960459

Contact Information

Marina Di Giacinto (Contact Author)
University of Cassino - Faculty of Economics ( email )
Fausto Gozzi
Luiss ( email )
Viale di Villa Massimo, 57
Rome, 00161
HOME PAGE: http://www.luiss.it/docenti/curricula/index.php?cod=Z08
Federico Salvatore
LUISS Guido Carli University ( email )
Via O. Tommasini 1
Rome, Roma 00100
Feedback to SSRN

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