Journal of Risk

A public guarantee of a minimum return to defined contribution pension scheme members

Giuseppe Grande, Ignazio Visco


The recent financial crisis has clearly demonstrated the exposure of defined contribution (DC) pension scheme members to extreme financial market risks. This paper argues that the government could offer DC plan members a minimumreturn guarantee, funded by risk-based premiums. Option-pricing formulas show that the guarantee could be quite expensive, but public provision could reduce the costs borne by workers. Such an arrangement would be sustainable for the government and would give workers an acceptable benefit-contribution ratio in worst-case scenarios, while still allowing them to reap the benefits of occupational or individual funded pension schemes.

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