Annuity Values in Defined Contribution Retirement Systems: The Case of Singapore and Australia
31 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2001 Last revised: 20 Oct 2010
Date Written: January 2001
In this paper we derive and compare the value of life annuity products in an international context. Our specific goal is to assess the money's worth and adverse selection impact of annuities in two countries Singapore and Australia that have mandatory DC-type retirement plans. This similarity in plan type is offset by differences in the two countries' national retirement policies. Our comparison therefore exploits the natural experiment in annuity pricing and purchase behaviour under alternative retirement regimes. The results show that after controlling on administrative loadings, there appear to be important differences in measured adverse selection across countries. Specifically, selection appears to be far stronger in the presence of a generous public benefit scheme that provides a first line of defence against the risk of old-age poverty.
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