Valuation of intergenerational transfers in funded collective pension schemes

This paper applies contingent claim analysis to value pension contracts for real-life collective pension plans with intergenerational risk sharing and offering DB-like benefits.We rewrite the balance sheet of such a pension fund as an aggregate of embedded generational options. This implies that a pension fund is a zero-sum game in value terms, so any policy change inevitably leads to value transfers between generations. We exploreintergenerational value transfers that may arise from a plan redesign or from changes in funding policy and risk sharing rules. We develop a stochastic framework which accounts for time-varying investment opportunities and computes the embedded generational options.Changes in the values of the generational options enable us to evaluate the impact of policy modifications in the pension contract with respect to intergenerational transfers and redistribution. We find that a switch to a less risky asset mix is beneficial toelderly members at the expense of younger members who lose value. A reallocation of risk bearing from a plan with flexible contributions and fixed benefits to a plan with fixed contributions and flexible benefits leads to value redistribution from older plan membersto younger ones.

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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