Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

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Working Paper

Date of this Version



Pension plan designs range from those that place virtually all of the risk on the plan (and plan sponsor) to those that place all of the risk on the individual covered by the plan. Traditional plans include designs that are at both ends of this spectrum, but there is increasing attention to plans that share risk. This chapter identifies different risks and discusses methods of sharing risk, both traditionally and in recent plan designs. Two case studies illustrate recent developments. We include a discussion of future directions.


The published version of this Working Paper may be found in the 2016 publication: Reimagining Pensions.


Pension plan risk, risk sharing, pension plan design, defined benefit, defined contribution, risk adjustment, hybrid plan

Working Paper Number


Copyright/Permission Statement

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. © 2014 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.

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Economics Commons



Date Posted: 26 June 2019