The impact of occupation and gender on pensions from defined contribution plans

David Blake, Andrew Cairns, Kevin Dowd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


We present simulation results for the likely pension outcomes for different defined-contribution (DC) pension plan members distinguished by occupation and gender. While our results suggest that key differences between outcomes depend on the strategic asset allocation strategy chosen (and hence on the rate of return on assets in relation to the growth rate in salaries), we also find that DC plans benefit most those workers who have the highest career average salary relative to final salary or whose salary peaks earliest in their careers. Thus low-skilled workers and women do relatively well from DC plans: the largest median pension difference between occupations is 34 per cent (for men) and 38 per cent (for women), while the largest median pension difference between women and men in the same occupation is 45 per cent (for the same contribution rate). We conclude that key aspects of plan design (in particular contribution rates) should be occupation- and gender-specific. © 2007 The International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-482
Number of pages25
JournalGeneva Papers on Risk and Insurance: Issues and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • Career salary profile
  • Defined contribution
  • Defined enefit
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Peak salary age
  • Pension plans
  • Pension ratio
  • Strategic asset allocation


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