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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
dynamic portfolio choice, variable annuity, guarantees, money-back
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All opinions, errors, findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the authors and not those of the Wharton School or the Pension Research Council. © 2013 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.
The research reported herein was performed pursuant to a grant from the US Social Security Administration (SSA) to the Michigan Retirement Research Center (MRRC) as part of the Retirement Research Consortium. We are also grateful for research support provided by the TIAA-CREF Research Institute, the German Investment and Asset Management Association (BVI), the Pension Research Council/Boettner Center at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Metzler Exchange Professor program. This research is part of the NBER programs on Aging, Public Economics, and Labor Studies. A
Date Posted: 26 June 2019