The Value of Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Insurance

George G. Pennacchi, Christopher M. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper considers the cost of Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insurance for single-employer defined benefit pension plans. It derives a formula for the PBGC's liability that explicitly recognizes the two necessary conditions that must arise for the PBGC to sustain a loss. First, the corporation sponsoring the pension Iund must undergo bankruptcy and, second, this pension plan must be underfunded. The PBGC's liability is valued as a contingent put option and expressed as infinite series of modified Bessel functions. The comparative statics of the model are examined and are quite consistent with economic intuition. Copyright 1994 by Ohio State University Press.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-753
JournalJournal of Money, Credit and Banking
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1994


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