Bridge over ocean
1 January 2007 Financial Analysts Journal Volume 63, Issue 1

Why Not Trade Pension Claims?

  1. Bernard Dumas
  2. Juerg Syz

Trading pension claims would serve many purposes. Beneficiaries would be able to diversify the idiosyncratic credit risk of their plan sponsors. And systematic risk could be reallocated to comply with individual risk–return preferences. The result would be an alignment of companies’ and pension fund managers’ incentives to keep fund plans fully funded—in line with beneficiary interests—which would lower agency costs and costs of government bailouts of defined-benefit plans and would improve the general welfare. As an accurate valuation of pension liabilities, trading would provide a measurable yardstick for plan managers.

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