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Automatic balance mechanisms for notional defined contribution pension systems guaranteeing social adequacy and financial sustainability: an application to the Italian pension system

Pierre Devolder, Susanna Levantesi () and Massimiliano Menzietti ()
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Pierre Devolder: Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Susanna Levantesi: Sapienza University of Rome

Annals of Operations Research, 2021, vol. 299, issue 1, No 32, 765-795

Abstract: Abstract Since the mid 1990s some European countries (including Italy) implemented a Notional Defined Contribution (NDC) pension system. Such a system is based on pay-as-you-go funding, while the pension amount is a function of the individual lifelong contribution. Despite many appealing features, the NDC system presents some drawbacks: first, it is vulnerable to demographic and economic shocks compromising the financial sustainability; second, it could fail to guarantee adequate pension benefits to pensioners. In order to reduce the first limit, automatic balance mechanisms (ABMs) have been proposed in literature and also implemented in Sweden, while solutions that combine financial sustainability and social adequacy have been applied only in a pay-as-you-go point system. The aim of this paper is to insert into the Italian NDC architecture ABMs that preserve social adequacy under financial sustainability constraints. Godinez-Olivares et al. (Insur Math Econ 69:117–126, 2016) built ABMs for a Defined Benefit pension system using nonlinear optimization techniques to calculate the optimal paths of the control variables representing the main drivers of the system: contribution rate, retirement age and indexation of pensions. Following this line of research, we have developed a nonlinear optimization model for the Italian NDC system based on three control variables: pensions indexation, notional rate and contribution rate. The objective function considers both social adequacy and contribution rate sustainability, under liquidity and sustainability constraints. In the numerical application we apply the model to the Italian pension system and test the sensitivity of the results to different economic scenarios and objective function parameters.

Keywords: Notional Defined Contribution pension systems; Automatic balance mechanisms; Social adequacy; Financial sustainability; Optimization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Working Paper: Automatic balance mechanisms for notional defined contribution pension systems guaranteeing social adequacy and financial sustainability: an application to the Italian pension system (2020)
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DOI: 10.1007/s10479-020-03819-x

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