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

See all articles by Raimond Maurer

Raimond Maurer

Goethe University Frankfurt - Finance Department

Olivia S. Mitchell

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ralph Rogalla

St. John's University - Tobin College of Business - School of Risk Management, Insurance, and Actuarial Science; Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Finance

Ivonne Siegelin

Goethe University Frankfurt

Date Written: August 2015

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Maurer, Raimond and Mitchell, Olivia S. and Rogalla, Ralph and Siegelin, Ivonne, Accounting-Based Asset Return Smoothing in Participating Life Annuities: Implications for Annuitants, Insurers, and Policymakers (August 2015). CFS Working Paper No. 518. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2664095 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2664095

Raimond Maurer

Goethe University Frankfurt - Finance Department ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
House of Finance
Frankfurt, 60323
Germany

Olivia S. Mitchell (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ralph Rogalla

St. John's University - Tobin College of Business - School of Risk Management, Insurance, and Actuarial Science ( email )

101 Astor Place
New York, NY 10003
United States

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Finance ( email )

House of Finance
Grueneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, Hessen 60323
Germany

Ivonne Siegelin

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

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