Retirement Shares Plan: A New Model of Risk Sharing

Donald E. Fuerst

Abstract — Investment risk and longevity risk are borne by the plan sponsor in a defined benefit (DB) plan or by the plan participant in a defined contribution (DC) plan. By contrast, our proposed Retirement Shares Plan (RSP) allocates the longevity risk to the plan sponsor and investment risk to the plan participant. The RSP allows the participant sufficient control over the investment risk to tailor that risk to his specific circumstances. This allocation of risk provides predictable and stable cost to the plan sponsor with little chance of unfunded liabilities. The retiree receives lifetime income and potential inflation protection.