Individual Annuity Demand under Aggregate Mortality Risk
38 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2006 Last revised: 26 Aug 2008
Date Written: August 25, 2008
Aggregate mortality risk - the risk that the mortality trend in a population changes in a nondeterministic way - and its implications for corporate decisions has recently been the subject of lively scientific discussion. We show that aggregate mortality risk is also a key determinant for individual annuitization decisions. Aggregate mortality risk appears to be a risk very difficult to transfer for individuals. Whether its existence leads to a higher or lower annuity demand depends on objective factors (e.g., insurers' vulnerability to aggregate mortality changes). Subjective factors (i.e., individuals' preferences) determine only the intensity of the annuity demand reaction to aggregate mortality risk. Our results are of significant importance not only for financial planning approaches of individual annuity buyers, but also for strategic decisions in insurance companies and for solvency regulators. Furthermore, consideration of aggregate mortality risk may both alleviate, but also intensify, the annuity puzzle.
Keywords: aggregate mortality risk, annuitization, retirement decisions, annuity puzzle, intertemporal utility maximization
JEL Classification: D14, D81, D91, G11, G22, J11, J26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation