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Assessing the Labour, Financial and Demographic Risks to Retirement Income from Defined-Contribution Pensions

Pablo Antolin () and Stéphanie Payet

OECD Journal: Financial Market Trends, 2011, vol. 2010, issue 2, 189-217

Abstract: This article examines the impact of labour, financial and demographic risks on retirement income from DC pension plans, with a special emphasis on labour-market risk. It uses a stochastic model that incorporates uncertainty about returns on investment, inflation, discount rates, life expectancy, employment prospects and real wages. The analysis herein highlights that labour-market risk, as well as uncertainty about returns on investment and inflation, have the largest impact on retirement income. The results suggest that default life-cycle investment strategies that reduce exposure to risky assets in the last decade before retirement are quite helpful in reducing the risk of sharp reductions in retirement income, in particular when a negative shock to equity markets occurs in the years before retiring. However, life-cycle strategies fail to address issues of retirement income adequacy or smooth out the volatility in retirement income from DC pension plans.

Date: 2011
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