Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 323068-M-6
The Economics and Finance of Pensions
Course info
Course module323068-M-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Economics and Management; TiSEM: Econometrics and OR; Econometrics & Operations;
Is part of
M Quantitative Finance and Actuarial Science
M Econometrics and Mathematical Economics
M Economics
M Finance
dr. R.J. Mehlkopf
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. T.E. Nijman
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksCaution: this information is subject to change
Registration openfrom 13/10/2020 up to and including 31/08/2021

After completing this course, the students understand the main issues related to the design and reform of pension systems have a good overview of the actual pension systems and main reform issues around the world. Naturally the ongoing reform of the Dutch pension system gets additional attention.




Students will become familiar with the concepts of Intergenerational distribution, Behavioral aspects of pensions, Intragenerational distribution, Lifecycle investing and Risk sharing, in the context of pensions. More in particular, the students will become familiar with the following topics, related to the main issues:
Intergenerational distribution:

  • Goals of pension systems
  • Funding versus pay-as-you-go financing
  • Generational accounting
Behavioral aspects of pensions:
  • Saving behavior
  • Investing behavior
  • Behavioral lessons for pension contract design
  • Heterogeneity in participants characteristics and uniform products 
Intragenerational distribution:
  • Actuarial neutrality
  • Labor markets and retirement decisions
  • Insurance of longevity risk
  • Tax treatment of pensions
Lifecycle investing:
  • Optimal saving and investment over the life cycle
  • Role of investment beliefs in design of lifecycle paths
  • Optimal investing and drawdown in the decumulation phase
Risk sharing:
  • Pooling of idiosyncratic risks
  • Optimal sharing of systematic risks
  • Capital market imperfections and valuation of pensions
  • Strengths and weaknesses of individuals, pension funds and governments
  • Defined-benefit and defined contribution schemes
  • Pension institutions around the world
  • Pension reform in the Netherlands
Course available for exchange students
Master level, conditions apply
Contact person
dr. R.J. Mehlkopf
Timetable information
The Economics and Finance of Pensions
Written test opportunities
Written test opportunities (HIST)
Written exam (80%) / Written exam (80%)EXAM_01BLOK 2121-12-2020
Written exam (80%) / Written exam (80%)EXAM_01BLOK 2218-01-2021
Required materials
Recommended materials
N. Barr and P. Diamond, “Reforming Pensions: Principles and Policy Choices,” Oxford University Press (2008).
Written exam (80%)

Final grade

Report (20%)

Kies de Nederlandse taal