Nobel Laureate: Retirement systems should focus on inflation-protected income rather than wealth accumulation

Speaking at a public lecture at SMU, Nobel Laureate Robert Merton said that the goal of a retirement system is to ensure there is sufficient funding to sustain the standard of living one has enjoyed in the latter part of his working life. It targets an inflation-protected income at retirement, instead of wealth accumulation. This will entail a monthly contribution. As for risks, Prof Merton felt that it is thought about in terms of shortfall risk, the risk of income falling below a goal, instead of traditional volatility measures. He added that retirement goals must be customisable for every individual – the retirement system has to be integrated with other financial assets the individual has, and future contributions from the individual should be included.

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