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Pension institutions and annuities in Denmark, Volume 1
 
Author:Andersen, Carsten; Skjodt, Peter; Country:Denmark;
Date Stored:2007/12/12Document Date:2007/12/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Emerging Markets; Debt Markets; ; Pensions & Retirement Systems; Insurance & Risk Mitigation
Language:EnglishRegion:Europe and Central Asia
Report Number:WPS4437Collection Title:Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 4437
Volume No:1  

Summary: This paper considers the overall structure of the Danish pension system, reviews the relative role of different types of pension institutions, and discusses their asset allocation strategies and investment performance. The paper also examines the regulation and supervision of providers of pension services, the growing reliance on risk-based supervision, and the application of the so-called contribution principle. The Danish pension system includes a modest universal social pension with a supplement for low-income pensioners and near universal participation in occupational and personal pensions that are primarily based on defined contribution plans. The annuity market is well developed: 50 percent of annual contributions are allocated to the purchase of deferred annuities, while immediate annuities are also purchased at or even after retirement. However, detailed comprehensive data on the rate of annuitization are lacking. Distinct features of the Danish pension system include the widespread use of profit participating contracts with minimum guaranteed benefits and regular provision of bonuses, covering both the accumulation and payout phases, and extensive use of group deferred annuity contracts. A new traffic light system with periodic stress testing has resulted in greater emphasis on asset liability matching and hedging strategies by pension institutions and a shift in investment policies in favor of foreign bonds and long-term swap contracts.

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