Risk, redistribution and retirement: The role of pension schemes

J. Bonenkamp

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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One of the main conclusions of this thesis is that collective pension funds are potentially welfare improving, even if contributions are distortionary and even if individuals face positively correlated wage and equity risks. By disconnecting individual contributions and benefits, the pension fund is able to smooth shocks over and beyond the life cycle of single generations. By adapting its investment policy to the risk-bearing capacity of the participants, the fund can in principle ensure that labour-supply distortions are overcompensated by risk-sharing gains. The thesis also contributes to the existing economic literature on portfolio and retirement choice. This literature argues that flexible retirement may serve as a hedge against unforeseen outcomes, justifying more risky asset portfolios during working life. The conclusion that emerges from the thesis is that this positive relation between risk taking and flexible retirement is weakened once uncertainty about labour income is recognized. Apart from facilitating risk sharing, collective pensions can also exploit the benefits of redistribution. Indeed, this thesis shows that introducing a flexible pension take-up can increase welfare if the initial pension scheme contains within-cohort redistribution.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
  • Meijdam, Lex, Promotor
  • van Ewijk, C., Promotor, External person
Award date5 Jun 2013
Place of PublicationTilburg
Print ISBNs9789056683542
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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