This table is from a provider and is based on curriculum.
So DB pension plan having high income needs and low liquidity needs, while Insurance companies have low income needs but high liquidity needs, makes it sound to me as if DB pension plans are managed by gamblers and insurance companies by risk averse managers.
Why is there such a difference? While in reality both seem to have the same nature, only difference is that DB pension plan have less uncertainty than insurances regarding the payments they should make, maybe that’s what makes them less risk averse?
For life insurance companies, there can be high outflows due to surrenders, death claims, expenses, etc. Sometimes premium income is not enough and the insurer may have to liquidate to cover any shortfall.
A primary driver of liquidity need is the uncertainty of cash outflows.
Defined benefit pension plans typically have little uncertainty in cash outflows. Exceptions arise when lump sum payouts are allowed, and when pension payments are adjusted for inflation. When there’s little uncertainty, there’s little need to have extra cash (or securities readily converted into cash) on hand.
Insurance companies typically have considerable uncertainty in (short-term) cash outflows. Greater uncertainty requires greater liquidity, greater cash reserves.
Another reason for DB plan’s high required income is the interest accruing on the actuarial liabililty: for pensions being currently being paid, the liability starts off big and gradually reduces as payments are made.