This paper examines the allocation of market risk in a general class of collective pension arrangements: Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) schemes. In a CDC scheme participants collectively share funding risk through benefit level adjustments. There is a concern that, if not well designed, CDC schemes are unfair and will lead to an unintended redistribution of wealth between participants and, in particular, between generations. We define a pension scheme as fair if all participants receive an arbitrage-free return on the market risk they bear. The fact that the participants' claim on the CDC schemes' collective assets is expressed in terms of a stochastic future benefit, makes the arbitrage-free allocation of market risk non-trivial. It depends crucially on the specification of the discount rate process in combination with the benefit adjustment process. We show that fair CDC schemes may use a default-free market interest rate in combination with a specific horizon-dependent benefit adjustment process. Alternative discount rates are also permissible, but require additional correction terms in the benefit adjustment process.
Keywords: Pension, Retirement, Asset Pricing, Fair value, Intergenerational risk-sharing, Funded pension systems.
JEL classifications: H55, G13, G23, J26, J32.
Working paper no. 630