The impact of surplus sharing on the portfolio mix of public sector defined benefit pension plans: a public choice approach
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The riskiness of state employee pension plan portfolios varies across states. We investigate whether this variation is related to how public employees and taxpayers share actuarial surpluses of pension accounts. We focus on two determinants of a plan’s asset mix: the relative influence of public employees to taxpayers; and whether a surplus-sharing contract is specified. Our theoretical model demonstrates that the effect of public employee influence on the asset mix is ambiguous. Our empirical results corroborate this complex theoretical result. In our theoretical and empirical analyses, if a surplus sharing rule is specified, plans adopt a more aggressive investment allocation.
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