Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Self-Annuitization, Consumption Shortfall in Retirement and Asset Allocation: The Annuity Benchmark

Albrecht, Peter
Volume: 1
Number: 3
Pages: 269 - 288
Month: November
ISSN-Print: 1474-7472
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2002
Abstract: The present paper considers a retiree of a certain age who is endowed with a certain amount of wealth and is facing alternative investment opportunities. One possibility is to buy a single premium immediate (participating) annuity-contract. This insurance product pays a life-long pension payment of a certain amount, depending e.g. on the age of the retiree, the operating cost of the insurance company and the return the company is able to realize from its investments. The alternative possibility is to invest the single premium into a portfolio of mutual funds and to periodically withdraw a fixed amount that is assumed to be equivalent to the consumption stream generated by the annuity. The particular advantage of this self-annuitization strategy compared to the life annuity is its greater liquidity and the possibility of leaving money for heirs. However, the risk of self-annuitization is to outlive the assets before the uncertain date of death. The risk can thus be specified by considering the probability of running out of money before the uncertain date of death. The determination of this personal probability of consumption shortfall with respect to German insurance and capital market conditions is the objective of this paper.