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1 Longevity Risk: Public and Private Sector Solutions and the Government’s Role Ross Jones Deputy Chairman, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Longevity Risk: Public and Private Sector Solutions and the Government’s Role Ross Jones Deputy Chairman, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Longevity Risk: Public and Private Sector Solutions and the Government’s Role Ross Jones Deputy Chairman, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority September 2010

2 The impact of the financial crisis Despite substantial recovery funding levels for pension funds at the end of 2009 was significantly lower than two years before. Funding levels for pension funds of OECD members had median funding deficit (gap between assets and liabilities) at 26 per cent at end of Decreasing band yields (which are used to calculate liabilities) in many countries meant that liabilities went up, offsetting the equities recovery. 2

3 The impact of the financial crisis 3 Pension funds nominal investment rate of return in selected OECD countries, (%). Source: OECD Global Pension Statistics and OECD estimates.

4 Policy responses to the crisis (OECD and IOPS) Some governments are being pressured to retreat from private pensions but public PAYG systems have sustainability issues due to aging population and now higher levels of unemployment. Emphasis on long term nature. There has been a tendency in a number of countries to allow greater flexibility in access during crisis but this risks creating longer term deficits. Safety net should address issues of insufficient income at retirement e.g. ‘top ups; for DC accounts but incentives may be needed to deep people working and to increase non compulsory contributions. 4

5 Policy responses to the crisis (OECD and IOPS) Improve the design of DC plans including default e.g. flexibility in timing of annuity purchase, guarantees for DC (but who pays). Improved pension fund governance and risk management. Improved disclosure, communication and financial education. Funding and solvency rules for DB plans should be counter- cyclical with greater flexibility in funding requirements. 5

6 6 Three problems of longevity risk  Funding of DB plans Adequacy of retirement savings Lack of financial instruments for hedging

7 7 Funding of DB Plans – extent of the problem depends on the structure of retirement system PublicPrivate Defined BenefitAustria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland France, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, US Iceland, Netherlands, Switzerland Defined Contribution, or Notional DC Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Slovak Republic, Sweden Australia, Denmark, Hungary, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Slovak Republic, Sweden Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance 2009

8 8 Australian system has reduced reliance on DB in the last decade Source: APRA Data, Total Superannuation Assets includes APRA-regulated funds and self-managed superannuation funds

9 9 The GFC has highlighted investment risk in DB funds and created severe underfunding problems Source: Yermo and Severinson, OECD, July 2010

10 10 OECD Policy Recommendations Need to strengthen regulation of solvency issues Focus on counter-cyclical funding –allowing over-funding in good economic times –Limiting contribution holidays and sponsor access to surplus Stability of contribution patterns is important Regulators should incorporate flexibility into funding rules to reflect the overall volatility of funding valuations Source: Yermo and Severinson, OECD, July 2010

11 11 APRA’s focus Supervisory attention on recovery plans for under-funded DB plans

12 12 Longevity Risk and DB under-funding Under-funding problems are larger than currently measured Netspar research suggests fully-funded DB plans need a surplus of 4-5% to cover longevity risk over five year period (De Waegenaere, Melenberg, Stevens, 2010) More countries moving from DB to Notional DC frameworks (Netherlands) [Role of Government Insurers (PBGC in the US, PPF in UK) – topic to be covered by Martin Clarke]

13 13 Three problems of longevity risk Funding of DB plans  Adequacy of retirement savings Lack of financial instruments for hedging

14 14 Australian context Three pillar retirement framework –Social security safety-net –Universal superannuation –Tax-advantaged voluntary additional savings Mandatory employer superannuation contributions introduced in 1992 –3% in 1992, 9% in 2002 –Current proposal 12% –Average balance of year old is only $72,000 (ABS,2009)

15 15 Relative size of retirement savings – Australia has large assets compared to other countries Source: OECD Global Pension Statistics

16 16 Australian Treasury projections of adequacy suggest the system will provide for retirement Source: Treasury Projections from the Henry Tax Review Australia’s Future Tax System – The retirement income system: report on strategic issues, May 2009

17 17 However projections of adequacy vary widely based on assumptions Source: NATSEM microsimulation results from Keegan, Harding, Kelly (2010)

18 18 What Retirement Products are used? Lump sum only Lump sum or PW Lump sum, PW or annuity Lump sum or annuity Partial lump sum or annuity PW or annuity Annuity only Hong Kong India Luxembourg (SEPCAV) Phillippines Indonesia China Malaysia Australia Brazil Denmark Japan Luxembourg Spain Greece Belgium Czech Republic Hungary (voluntary funds) Switzerland (voluntary funds) USA Germany Ireland Italy Portugal South Africa UK Argentina Canada Chile Costa Rica Mexico Norway Peru Austria Belgium* Colombia Croatia Germany* Hungary* Netherlands Poland Russia Sweden Switzerland * Uruguay Source: OECD * indicates mandatory funds

19 19 OECD policy recommendations on adequacy and longevity risk Need to save for a long time –Contribution rates and length of contribution period are primary importance in determining adequacy Increase retirement age as population ages If retirement phase focuses on annuities –Life cycle investing is optimal If retirement phase focuses on gradual/prescribed withdrawals –Maintaining a high allocation to equities throughout retirement can provide higher retirement income

20 20 Australian context Most lump sums are small (less than $60,000) reflecting the immature superannuation system Account-based pensions cover 88% of retirement products –Retirees still exposed to investment and longevity risk Government pension is main protection against longevity risk Annuity products not active –ING’s Money for Life, AXA North Guarantee, Macquarie Lifetime Income Guarantee Barrier to pooled solutions: DC mentality in Australia, bequest motives, expensive products

21 21 Three problems of longevity risk Funding of DB plans Adequacy of retirement savings  Lack of financial instruments for hedging

22 22 Private Solutions Many papers at this conference are exploring this problem Private market solutions appear to be the best approach Not an immediate concern in Australia due to DC focus

23 23 OECD Policy Recommendations Government can help by providing updated mortality tables that incorporates longevity risk Governments can play a role by developing a longevity index that can be used for pricing Governments can issue inflation-indexed long dated bonds to facilitate asset liability management [highlight APRA’s engagement with UNSW researchers?]

24 24 Summary Public solutions to longevity risk problems –Reforming retirement industry structure –Regulations that encourage product innovation but preserve safety of retirement assets –Investment in research Private solutions to longevity risk problems –Innovative products to hedge risks –Investment in research


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