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The Impact of Occupation and Gender on Pensions from Defined Contribution Plans

By David Blake, Andrew Cairns and Kevin Dowd


We present simulation results for the likely pension outcomes for different definedcontribution (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

Topics: pension plans, defined contribution, defined benefit, gender, occupation, career salary profile
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1057/palgrave.gpp.2510141
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