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This study examines the distribution options of 85 large public retirement plans covering general state employees, teachers, and local government employees. The interest rates used to price annuities vary considerably across the plans. As a result, retirees with the same monthly benefit if a single life benefit is chosen will have substantially different monthly benefits if they select a joint and survivor annuity. We examine the impact of variation in the pricing of annuity options using both cross-plan differences in interest rates and the change in the choice of annuity options in one plan after the price of options changes due to new assumed interest rates and mortality rates.
Choices regarding the disposition of wealth at retirement can have substantial implications for retirement income security. We analyze the factors determining annuity payout option choices within the context of a public sector defined pension plan with no default annuity option. Using combined administrative records and survey data, we explore the role of individual and household characteristics as well as risk preferences, time preferences, and financial literacy. We also document retiree well-being and satisfaction with retirement decision making. The evidence is consistent with predictions over which households might benefit most from each annuity option. Comparing retirees who chose different types of annuities, we find that these groups of retirees report very different levels of well-being in retirement. All retirees report lower levels of retirement income security over time, with strong differences among those who chose different types of annuities.
Paragonimiasis, human lung fluke disease, is a foodborne anthropozoonosis caused by the trematodes assigned to Paragonimus and is regarded by the World Health Organization as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). The life cycle of this medically important parasite centres on a complex freshwater biological community that includes two intermediate hosts: a mollusc and a decapod, usually a brachyuran. Although there is a perception that the biology, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Paragonimus is well understood, in reality, this is not the case, especially in Africa. Much remains unknown concerning the life-cycle of the parasite, its transmission, the current epidemiology of the disease, diagnosis and the effectiveness of treatment. Furthermore, cases of paragonimiasis may be misdiagnosed as resistant tuberculosis (TB) because of the similar pulmonary symptoms and no remission after anti TB therapy. The endemic foci of human paragonimiasis in Africa have been reported mainly in the forest zones of Upper Guinea (Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast) and Lower Guinea (Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon). Despite the perceived medical importance of paragonimiasis, relatively little attention has been paid to this NTD since its discovery in Africa in the 1960s. This review focuses on the current understanding of the life cycle and transmission of Paragonimus in Africa, discusses its diagnosis and public health importance and highlights many outstanding gaps in the knowledge that still exist for this NTD.