Does the Right to Choose Matter for Defined Contribution Plans?
14 Pages Posted: 6 May 2020
Date Written: April 2017
We find that sensitivity of fund flows and fund performance are both related to participants' right to choose their investments in defined contribution plans. Under the Mandatory Provident Fund system of Hong Kong, both employers and employees are required to contribute to a retirement account. Originally, employees' investment choices were restricted to a subset of funds chosen by their employers. The system was later modified so that employees are allowed to invest in any fund within the system. We present evidence that flows of fund have become more sensitive to past fund performance after this policy change, and that average fund performance in the system has also improved. Based on the improvement in fund performance, we estimate the accumulated cost of the lack of choice to be around 10% of the current total asset value of the system.
JEL Classification: G14, G18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation