Accounting-Based Asset Return Smoothing in Participating Life Annuities: Implications for Annuitants, Insurers, and Policymakers
CFS Working Paper No. 518
23 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2015
Date Written: August 2015
This chapter outlines the conditions under which accounting-based smoothing can be beneficial for policyholders who hold with-profit or participating payout life annuities (PLAs). We use a realistically-calibrated model of PLAs to explore how alternative accounting techniques influence policyholder welfare as well as insurer profitability and stability. We find that accounting smoothing of participating life annuities is favorable to consumers and insurers, as it mitigates the impact of short-term volatility and enhances the utility of these long-term annuity contracts.
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