728 - Optimal Investment Policies for Defined Benefit Pension Funds

Wetenschappelijke publicatie
Date 1 April 2003

This paper analyzes optimal investment policies for pension funds of a defined benefit (DB) type. The nature of a DB fund induces a natural modeling of preferences being of the mean-downside risk type. With compensation for inflation as an explicit goal of a pension fund, a natural reference point for the risk measure is the real or indexed value of the liabilities. Results are presented for a mean-shortfall model and different assumptions for inflation uncertainty, correlation between inflation and stock returns, and the level of the risk-free rate. Comparative statics show increased risk-taking for funding ratios moving away from the reference point. We provide intuition for the results and compare the outcomes with actual investment policies of six large Dutch pension funds. Keywords: pension funds, optimal investment, defined benefit JEL Codes: G11, G23