Price efficiency in the Dutch annuity market

We provide the first analysis of annuity rates in the Netherlands for the period 2001-2012. During this period, the number of annuity providers was high and stable and we find that falls in annuity rates can be explained entirely by changes in yields and life expectancy. We show that annuitants could have increased their annuity income by about 5%, by shopping around and purchasing their annuities from alternative providers. Money’s worth calculations show that the market is efficient by international standards, with a money’s worth above 0.9 for the whole period and close to unity by the end of the period. We present conflicting evidence on the existence of adverse selection because although we find money’s worths are inversely related to age of purchase, we find they are positively related to size of purchase.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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