Optimal Pension Insurance Design
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- Discussion papers (FOR) 
In this paper we provide a framework for how the traditional life and pension contracts with a guaranteed rate of return can be optimized to increase customers’ welfare. Given that the contracts have to be priced correctly, we use individuals’ preferences to find the preferred design. Assuming CRRA utility, we cannot explain the existence of any form of guarantees. Through numerical solutions we quantify the difference (measured in security equivalents) to the preferred Merton solution of direct investments in a fixed proportion of risky and risk free assets. The largest welfare loss seems to come from the fact that guarantees are effective by the end of each year, not only by the expiry of the contract. However, the demand for products with guarantees may be explained through behavioral models accounting for loss aversion, e.g. cumulative prospect theory. In this case, the optimal design seems to be a simple contract with a life-time guarantee.
UtgiverNorwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. Department of Finance and Management Science