The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper focuses on the nexus between pension funds' balance sheet liabilities, reflecting their age profile and payments obligations, and the investment behavior and costs of these funds. The context of the analysis is the stringent regulatory framework and the highly fragmented and heterogeneous pension fund landscape in Switzerland. Detailed data from the Swiss Pension Statistic are analyzed using multivariate OLS-regressions. The evidence shows that a younger age structure and lower short-term benefits payouts are related to a higher share of equities and lower real estate holdings. Legal form, pension plan type, and size are important for administrative costs. The findings support the view that aging may lead to increased risk aversion and thus to a lower engagement of institutional investors in equities.