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This paper explains how state governments could create new low-cost lifetime assurance funds to help provide retirement income security for millions of private-sector workers who currently lack pension coverage. Basically, an assurance fund operates like a mutual fund held within a defined contribution plan, but with the added features of mortality pooling and fully-funded lifetime payouts. As we envision them, assurance funds would be offered as annuity-like investment options on the new investment platforms being created by states like Oregon, California, and Maryland that offer their citizens the opportunity to participate in state-sponsored retirement savings plans. Adding an assurance fund could effectively turn these retirement savings plans into lifetime pensions. To ensure their sustainability, assurance funds would operate under a strict budget constraint and be organized as either tontines or pooled annuities.
pensions, state-sponsored pensions, retirement savings, annuities, tontines, pooled annuities, assurance fund, budget constraint, underfunding
Working Paper Number
All 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. © 2020 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.
Date Posted: 24 July 2020