Rogalla, Ralph

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Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    The Effect of Uncertain Labor Income and Social Security on Life-cycle Portfolios
    (2009-09-01) Maurer, Raimond; Mitchell, Olivia S; Rogalla, Ralph
    This paper examines how labor income volatility and social security benefits influence life-cycle household portfolios. We examine how much the individual saves, and where, taking into account liquid financial wealth and annuities, and stocks versus bonds. Higher labor income uncertainty and lower old-age benefits boost demand for stable income in retirement, but also when young. In addition, a declining equity glide path with age is appropriate for the worker with low income uncertainty but for the high income risk worker, equity exposure rises until retirement. We also evaluate how changes in social security benefits influence retirement risk management.
  • Publication
    Optimal Portfolio Choice in Retirement with Participating Life Annuities
    (2014-09-01) Rogalla, Ralph
    This paper derives optimal consumption, investment, and annuitization patterns for retired households that have access to German-style participating payout life annuities (PLAs), allowing for capital market risks as well as idiosyncratic and systematic longevity risks. PLAs provide guaranteed minimum benefits in combination with participation in insurers’ surpluses. Minimum benefits are calculated based on conservative assumptions regarding capital market and mortality developments, while surpluses distributed to annuitants bridge the gap between the insurers’ actual investment and mortality experiences and the projections used in pricing. Through the participation scheme, systematic longevity risk is shared between insurers and annuitants, as unanticipated longevity shocks result in benefit adjustments via the surplus mechanism. We show that the retiree draws substantial utility from access to PLAs, equivalent to 20% of initial wealth in the presence of systematic longevity risk. We also find that stochasticity in mortality rates only has minor impact on the appeal of PLAs to the retiree. Even if the interest rate guarantee is reduced to zero in adverse capital market environments, PLAs prove to provide substantial utility for retirees. Overall, the participating life annuity design produces substantial welfare gains over a no-annuity world, while being an efficient setup that helps providers to hedge long-term risks that are difficult to hedge otherwise, such as systematic longevity risks.
  • Publication
    Will They Take the Money and Work? An Empirical Analysis of People’s Willingness to Delay Claiming Social Security Benefits for a Lump Sum
    (2014-10-01) Maurer, Raimond; Mitchell, Olivia S; Rogalla, Ralph; Schimetschek, Tatjana
    This paper investigates whether exchanging the Social Security delayed retirement credit, currently paid as an increase in lifetime annuity benefits, for a lump sum would induce later claiming and additional work. We show that people would voluntarily claim about half a year later if the lump sum were paid for claiming any time after the Early Retirement Age, and about two-thirds of a year later if the lump sum were paid only for those claiming after their Full Retirement Age. Overall, people will work one-third to one-half of the additional months, compared to the status quo. Those who would currently claim at the youngest ages are likely to be most responsive to the offer of a lump sum benefit.
  • Publication
    Participating Payout Life Annuities: Lessons from Germany
    (2012-05-01) Maurer, Raimond; Rogalla, Ralph; Siegelin, Ivonne
    This paper analyzes the regulatory framework of German immediate participating payout life annuities (PLAs), which offer guaranteed minimum benefits as well as participation in insurers’ surpluses. Our particular focus lies on the mechanics of sharing surpluses between shareholders and policyholders. We show that the process of surplus determination, allocation, and distribution mostly follows transparent and clear rules, and that an insurance company’s management has limited leeway with respect to discretionary decision making. Subsequently, we develop an Asset Liability Model for a German life insurer that offers PLAs. Based on this model, we run Monte Carlo simulations to evaluate benefit variability and insurer stability under stochastic mortality and capital market developments. Our results suggest that through PLAs guaranteed benefits can be provided with high credibility, while, at the same time, annuitants receive attractive Money’s Worth Ratios. Moreover, we show that it might be difficult to offer a fixed benefit annuity providing the same lifetime utility as a PLA for the same premium and a comparably low insolvency risk. Overall, participating life annuity schemes may be an efficient way to deal with risk factors that are highly unpredictable and difficult to hedge over the long run, such as systematic mortality and investment risks.
  • Publication
    Exchanging Delayed Social Security Benefits for Lump Sums: Could This Incentivize Longer Work Careers?
    (2012-10-01) Chai, Jingjing; Maurer, Raimond; Mitchell, Olivia S; Rogalla, Ralph
    Social Security benefits are currently provided as a lifelong benefit stream, though some workers would be willing to trade a portion of their annuity streams in exchange for a lump sum amount. This paper explores whether allowing people to receive a lump sum as a payment for delayed retirement rather than as an addition to their lifetime Social Security benefits might induce them to work longer. We model the factors that influence how people trade off a Social Security stream for a lump sum, and we also examine the consequences of such tradeoffs for work, retirement, and life cycle wellbeing. Our base case indicates that workers given the chance to receive their delayed retirement credit as a lump sum payment would boost their average retirement age by 1.5-2 years. This will interest policymakers seeking to reform the Social Security system without raising costs or cutting benefits, while enhancing the incentives to delay retirement.
  • Publication
    Optimal Life Cycle Portfolio Choice with Variable Annuities Offering Liquidity and Investment Downside Protection
    (2013-07-01) Horneff, Vanya; Mitchell, Olivia S; Maurer, Raimond; Rogalla, Ralph
    We evaluate lifecycle consumption and portfolio allocation patterns resulting from access to Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit (GMWB) variable annuities, one of the most rapidly-growing financial innovations over the last two decades. A key feature of these products is that they offer access to equity investments with downside protection, hedging of longevity risk, and partially-refundable premiums. Welfare rises since policyholders exercise the product’s flexibility by taking withdrawals and dynamically adjusting their portfolios and consumption streams. Consistent with observed behavior, differences across individuals’ cash out and annuitization patterns result from variations in realized equity market returns and labor income trajectories
  • Publication
    Life Cycle Impacts of the Financial Crisis on Optimal Consumption—Portfolio Choices and Labor Supply
    (2011-09-01) Chai, Jingjing; Maurer, Raimond; Mitchell, Olivia S; Rogalla, Ralph
    The direct financial impact of the financial crisis has been to deal a heavy blow to investment-based pensions; many workers lost a substantial portion of their retirement saving. The financial sector implosion produced an economic crisis for the rest of the economy via high unemployment and reduced labor earnings, which reduced household contributions to Social Security and some private pensions. Our research asks which types of individuals were most affected by these dual financial and economic shocks, and it also explores how people may react by changing their consumption, saving and investment, work and retirement, and annuitization decisions. We do so with a realistically calibrated lifecycle framework allowing for time-varying investment opportunities and countercyclical risky labor income dynamics. We show that households near retirement will reduce both short- and long-term consumption, boost work effort, and defer retirement. Younger cohorts will initially reduce their work hours, consumption, saving, and equity exposure; later in life, they will work more, retire later, consume less, invest more in stocks, save more, and reduce their demand for private annuities.