One Size Fits All? Drawdown Structures in Australia and the Netherlands
The Journal of the Economics of Ageing. Available online 25 July 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.jeoa.2018.07.002
36 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2017 Last revised: 4 Aug 2018
Date Written: March 14, 2018
Australia and the Netherlands both combine an unfunded non-contributory flat rate pension with prefunded earnings related retirement schemes. Notwithstanding this similarity of structure, however, the two systems are very different. The Netherlands mandates annuitized drawdown structures. In Australia, no prescription, or even guidance, is offered. In both cases, products that better meet the needs of increasingly heterogeneous retirement cohorts are under consideration. We analyze the impact of various popular product choices in the Netherlands and in Australia on the welfare of individuals allowing for different income levels. The study assumes the market return and mortality are stochastic and includes the impact of mean-testing, which reduces the value of the first pillar flat rate. Products offering longevity insurance are the most preferred in the absence of bequest, whereas more flexible portfolios with phased withdrawals score higher when individuals have a bequest motive. The state pension replaces the need to purchase indexed annuities for low income individuals whereas it does not crowd out the demand for longevity insurance for median and high income percentiles. We conclude that the income category, bequests, state pension and risk aversion have to be allowed for in any sound welfare assessment of retirement income portfolios since these affect the ranking of portfolios more sharply than mortality differentials and loadings.
Keywords: Utility, CEC, Income, Retirement Income, Means-test
JEL Classification: H55, H75, J32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation