Investment regulations and defined contribution pensions

New research from Allianz Global Investors AG in conjunction with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), shows that quantitative regulations may help in limiting retirement income risk in Defined Contribution (DC) systems in those countries where payments from DC are the main source of income at old age.

This paper assesses the impact of different quantitative approaches to regulate investment risk on the retirement income stemming from defined contribution (DC) pension plans. It looks at how such regulations affect the spectrum of investment policies available and, through this channel, how they affect the retirement income that an individual may expect from a DC pension plan

The analysis shows that there is a trade-off between potential retirement income and protection from bad outcomes. Reducing the downside risk on retirement income from DC pension plans requires moving into relatively conservative investment policies where the share of assets allocated to bonds may be quite large. However, this comes at the cost of renouncing potentially higher replacement rates that are attainable but at a higher risk of unfavourable retirement income outcomes. Less risk adverse regulators and supervisors would aim at lower probability requirements as regard the downside risk, which will increase the range of investment policies available and thus the share of riskier assets.

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