We introduce a new insurance instrument allowing retirees to hedge against risk of mortality and risk of default. At retirement, the retiree is allowed to purchase an annuity that provides a defaultable income stream over his lifetime. The time of mortality and time of default are both uncertain, but are accompanied by determined hazard rates. The retiree will make consumption and investment choices throughout his lifetime, which have certain restrictions: the retiree can never enter a bankruptcy state (negative total wealth), and the investment choices are made in a risk-free financial instrument (such as a treasury bill or bond) and a risky instrument (such as commodities or stock). The retiree also makes insurance premium payments which hedge against mortality and default risks simultaneously. This new form of insurance is one which can be implemented by financial institutions as a means for retirees to protect their illiquid assets. In doing so, we calculate the optimal annuity rate a retiree should purchase to maximize his utility of consumption and bequest.Throughout the paper, we develop stochastic control models for a retiree's optimal investment and consumption policies over an uncertain planning horizon in several models which may or may not allow for insurance purchases. We find exact solutions to several models, and apply dynamic programming and the logarithmic transformation to other models to find numerical solutions when constraints are needed. We also analyze the effects of loading on insurance, analyzing the effects of more expensive insurance on the retiree's control policies and value functions. In particular, we will consider the model in which the retiree can purchase life insurance and credit default insurance (in the form of a credit default swap, or CDS) separately to hedge against life events. CDS's do not exist for annuities, but we extend this model by incorporating life insurance and the CDS into a single entity, which can be a viable, and realistic, option to hedge against risk. This model is beneficial in providing a solution to the annuity problem by showing that minimal annuity purchase is optimal.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Mathematics



Date Submitted


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annuity, annuity puzzle, life insurance, consumption, investment, credit default swap, random endowment, matched payout