How good are default investment policies in defined contribution pension plans?

Daniel Duque, David P. Morton, Bernardo K. Pagnoncelli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Defined contribution (DC) pension plans have been gaining ground in the last 10-20 years as the preferred system for many countries and other agencies, both private and public. The central question for a DC plan is how to invest in order to reach the participant's retirement goals. Given the financial illiteracy of the general population, it is common to offer a default policy for members who do not actively make investment choices. Using data from the Chilean system, we discuss an investment model with fixed contribution rates and compare the results with the existing default policy under multiple objectives. Our results indicate that the Chilean default policy has good overall performance, but specific closed-loop policies have a higher probability of achieving desired retirement goals and can reduce the expected shortfall at retirement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-272
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Pension Economics and Finance
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Closed-loop policies
  • defined contribution
  • dynamic programming
  • stochastic dominance
  • utility functions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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