An attribution analysis of investment risk sharing in collective defined contribution schemes

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A quantification of the financial implications of the design of a funded, collective defined contribution (CDC) pension scheme is presented and illustrated. It is done through an attribution analysis, which allows the importance of various elements of CDC scheme design to be determined. The model of a CDC scheme analysed is based lightly on the first CDC scheme set to be approved in the UK. In the CDC scheme analysed, contributions are fixed and the initial benefit accrued by each contribution is fixed. Once accrued, benefits are subsequently adjusted annually in response to changes in assumptions and returns. An attribution of the benefit payments shows that this design gives higher benefits to the first generations and lower benefits to the last generations, for a scheme which starts with no members. The contributions paid also affect the balance of benefits paid between generations. Too high a contribution is to the advantage of the first generations. Too low a contribution is in the interests of the later generations. The conclusion, within the simple model considered, is that a constant benefit accrual is an important design choice. Its financial consequences across all generations should be carefully analysed, if it is intended to be implemented. Additionally, contributions should be reviewed regularly in such a CDC scheme, to ensure that cross-subsidies are not borne excessively by particular generations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalAnnals of Actuarial Science
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2023


  • Scheme design
  • Royal Mail
  • Lump sum
  • Annuity
  • Retirement
  • Over-lapping generations


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