Governments and the Market for Longevity-Indexed Bonds
17 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2007
Date Written: January 2007
Uncertainty about length of life, longevity risk, is a growing financial problem for pension funds and annuity providers. They would like to transfer longevity risk away to institutions better placed to deal with it. Unfortunately, there is a lack of financial instruments to hedge against this longevity risk, thereby complicating risk management by pension funds and hindering the expansion of the annuity market. Consequently, this paper examines the role of government in promoting a private market solution for longevity hedging financial products. Governments could improve the market for annuities by issuing longevity indexed bonds and by producing a longevity index. The paper argues though that this public policy role is hampered by the fact that governments are themselves are already exposed to significant longevity risk. However, governments could take other steps such as producing a longevity index.
Keywords: Uncertainty; longevity risk; pension funds; DB and DC plans; annuities; financial instruments; hedging; longevity-indexed bonds; indices; longevity index
JEL Classification: G23, G28, D8, J11, J26, J32, C15, C32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation