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This chapter outlines the conditions under which accounting-based smoothing can be beneficial for policyholders who hold with-profit or participating payout life annuities (PLAs). We use a realistically-calibrated model of PLAs to explore how alternative accounting techniques influence policyholder welfare as well as insurer profitability and stability. We find that accounting smoothing of participating life annuities is favorable to consumers and insurers, as it mitigates the impact of short-term volatility and enhances the utility of these long-term annuity contracts.
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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. © 2015 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.
Date Posted: 12 March 2019