Financial Analysts Journal

A Mutual Fund to Yield Annuity-Like Benefits

  1. Ralph P. Goldsticker

The shift away from defined-benefit pension plans is eliminating life annuities received upon retirement. Retiree incomes are becoming increasingly dependent upon retirees’ investment returns and savings consumption rates. The traditional solution, for retirees to purchase annuities, is expensive (because insurance companies must be compensated for bearing systematic investment and actuarial risks) and leaves the investor exposed to the risk of issuer default. The alternative investment vehicle proposed here would allow retirees to diversify life-expectancy risk but retain aggregate investment and actuarial risks. Participants would thus save the cost of the risk premiums for transferring those risks to an insurance company. As a result, the payments to participants from this alternative should be significantly higher than payments from a purchased annuity.

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