This book is the newest in the Pension Research Council series on challenges and opportunities in retirement security. In it, we explore several types of risk that confront employees, retirees, companies, and governments in the retirement context.
Our focus in this volume is on how pension systems can help protect against such risks, particularly in light of the current uncertain economic and financial global environment. Of particular interest is the question of whether and how financial products and systems can be better designed to meet and manage retirement risks. Examples considered in this book include guarantees and hedges for pension investments, catastrophe bonds, and alternative regulatory structures and investment restrictions intended to protect unwary or unwitting pension plan participants. Chapters draw important lessons from a wide range of countries, focusing on both developed and developing countries. Contributors include finance and insurance sector experts, development economists, regulators, and academics.
Primary sponsorship for the volume was generously provided by the Financial Services Forum under the leadership of George Votja, through a grant to the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School. Additional funding for our activities was provided by the Financial Institutions Center at Wharton, the Michigan Retirement Research Center in conjunction with the Social Security Administration, and the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor. We are also grateful for assistance from the Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research and the Penn Aging Research Center, both at the University of Pennsylvania. The Pension Research Council is proud to continue its affiliation with the Wharton School and to recognize the invaluable efforts of our Senior Partners and Institutional Members noted at the end of this volume. We are also grateful for the excellent work of Pension Research Council staffers Victoria H. Jo, Joseph V. Hirniak, and Christina Choi. On behalf of the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School, we thank our collaborators and the contributors who brought this work to fruition.