Performance of retirement funds: An analysis focused on pure insurance companies



Linha de Pesquisa
Administração e Economia de Negócios

William Clem Soares, Carlos Heitor Campani



Revista Contabilidade & Finanças, v. 31, n. 84, pp. 490-523. Abstract: This paper analyzes the performance of Free Benefit Generating Plans (Plano Gerador de Benefício Livre – PGBL) and Free Benefit Generating Life (Vida Gerador de Benefícios Livres – VGBL) funds in the Brazilian market. This paper is unique when it comes to segregate funds managed by pure insurance companies (PICs) from those managed by large retail banks. We also discuss the impact of characteristics such as administration fee and fund size in the fund performance. The academic literature does not consider the differentiation between funds characteristics neither the type of institution that manages them. Furthermore, the available studies on this market are usually simple and, for example, do not use multifactor models to measure risk adjusted performances. The PGBL and VGBL funds performances are object of great interest since their market grows sustainably and quickly. Funds underperforming the market should improve their strategies and decrease administration costs to deliver better net performances. This work aims at improving the market competition, such that retirement products remain attractive to investors. We develop two multifactor models representing the risk sources for each class of funds analyzed (conservative and aggressive funds). The performance is thus measured by Jensen’s alpha, although we also analyze realized returns and volatilities. We also develop a multifactor model based on administrative fee and fund’s size to capture the PIC effect. Our results suggest that PGBL and VGBL funds managed by PICs perform better in terms of higher average returns with no extra volatility, when compared to similar funds managed by companies linked to large retain banks. We found that higher administrative fees do not payout and it might even destroy value in the case of funds that invest in stocks. Larger funds presented higher net returns with no extra volatility. Finally, the analysis confirmed, with statistical evidence, the higher net returns of funds controlled by PICs in two situations: (i) after controlling for administrative fee and size of the fund – from 0.8 to 1% more per year; and (ii) after controlling for market risk sources – from 0.64 to 1.18% more per year.

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