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A research paper that analyzed life annuity versus lump sum selections among retired public employees won the 18th annualTIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security.

The paper, “How Do Retirees Value Life Annuities? Evidence from Public Employees,” was written by John Chalmers of the University of Oregon and Jonathan Reuter of Boston College. By investigating whether retirees from the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) choose a lump sum or a life annuity, the authors debunked conventional wisdom that there is low demand for life annuities. In fact, based on a sizable sample of 32,000 retirees between 1990 and 2002, 85 percent of PERS retirees opted to receive all of their pension benefits in the form of lifetime annuity payments. The research paper was published in The Review of Financial Studies in 2012.

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