DEAMS Research Paper Series 2013, 4


Research Paper Series, N. 4, 2013

A Dynamic Programming Algorithm for the Valuation of Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefits in Variable Annuities

In this paper we present a dynamic programming algorithm for pricing variable annuities with Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefits (GMWB) under a general Lévy processes framework. The GMWB gives the policyholder the right to make periodical withdrawals from her policy account even when the value of this account is exhausted. Typically, the total amount guaranteed for withdrawals coincides with her initial investment, providing then a protection against downside market risk. At each withdrawal date, the policyholder has to decide whether, and how much, to withdraw, or to surrender the contract. We show how different levels of rationality in the policyholder’s withdrawal behaviour can be modelled. We perform a sensitivity analysis comparing the numerical results obtained for different contractual and market parameters, policyholder behaviours, and different types of Lévy processes.

Anna Rita Bacinello
Department of Business, Economics, Mathematics and Statistics ‘B. de Finetti’, University of Trieste

Pietro Millossovich
Faculty of Actuarial Science and Insurance, Cass Business School, London

Alvaro Montealegre
Risk Methodology, Banco Santander, Boadilla del Monte, Madrid