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Tontines are useful vehicles for providing retirement income.  Their payouts, however, will necessarily vary as a function of investment returns and the mortality experience of the membership pool.  Retirees who place a high value on income stability will desire to min...

April 1, 2019

Tontines, a nearly-extinct financial device invented centuries ago, are receiving fresh attention as a tool for retirement income.  I do mean fresh – modern tontines envisioned by economists today have evolved since the tontines of yestercentury.

Brief history

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March 21, 2019

The Canadian government has announced several provisions in its 2019 budget to strengthen retirement security. One allows for advanced life deferred annuities. Another allows for offering "variable payment life annuities" (VPLAs) to members of a PRPP or defined contrib...

Tontines are a much-misunderstood investment arrangement that deserve a fresh look.  Put aside everything you thought you knew about them.  Forget the devious plots found in fiction novels, and do not confuse modern day tontines with the sketchy, opaque produ...

July 21, 2018

Our latest research involves a collaboration with Michael J. Sabin to introduce the concept of an individual tontine account (ITA). An ITA is similar to a conventional investment brokerage account, but with the added feature of mortality pooling through participation i...

January 30, 2018

Consumer choice is good for society. Let’s bring tontines back, better than ever.

This blog post was published in Forbes in conjunction with the Wharton Pension Research Council of the University of Pennsylvania, which is committed to generating debate on key policy iss...

December 12, 2017

Benjamin Franklin once famously wrote “… in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”¹ True, death is indeed certain. However, the timing of death is quite uncertain.

This uncertainty greatly complicates financial planning by imparting upon...

November 17, 2017

My previous article gave a primer on tontines as a type of investment in which the account balances of shareholders who die are forfeited, divided up, and transferred to shareholders who are still living. Exactly how they are divided up and transferred is a critical el...

October 31, 2017

The term “tontine” may be new to many people. This is not surprising, given that the once-common term largely fell out of use around one hundred years ago. Let’s review what a tontine is and take a quick look at its history… and why it is making a comeback.

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