Federal Insurance Office, U.S. Department of the Treasury, “Annual Report on the Insurance Industry,” 2013-09-01
The article reminds that it is now more than 30 years since the 401(k)/Individual Retirement Account model appeared on the scene. This do-it-yourself pension system has failed. It has failed because it expects individuals without investment expertise to reap the same results as professional investors and money managers. This is where financial planners can help. There are many aging Americans who will need suggestions on how they can plan to live the life they want.
EY: Ernst & Young, LLP, The Annuity Landscape: Five trends to watch for in 2013 and 2014, 2013-01-01
Against a backdrop of improving economic conditions in the US and the stock market reaching an all-time high, insurers continue to reposition and reinvent their products, strategies and services. These changes enable insurers to offer advisors and investors a broad range of products despite the challenges of the continuing low interest rate environment. For advisors, staying up-to-date with the changes in the market and the characteristics of the products currently available is critical to serving the needs of your clients.
In recent months we have seen John Hancock exit the annuity business altogether, while other companies have limited the amount of annuity business they accept to help actively manage their risk. Some companies have even offered to buy out the guarantees in exchange for adding a lump-sum to the client’s account value. On the other hand, a few companies have made the These companies hope to take advantage of the unmet marketplace needs for higher rates of return and guaranteed income.
The Aspen Institute Initiative on Financial Security, “Retirement Savings: Confronting the Challenge of Longevity,” 2010-01-01
As the world of defined contribution retirement savings has grown, and with the potential vast expansion of private retirement savings through automatic IRAs, the majority of savers now nearing retirement and in the generations to come will have nest eggs, which they will have primary responsibility for managing during retirement. Annuities are traditional means for managing the risk of outliving savings in retirement. But annuities as an investment or distribution option are virtually absent from defined contribution plans. Outside of the plan universe, payout annuities have never been popular with mass market consumers and could be considered the cod liver oil of investment products — a product that may be good for you but hard to swallow and too often avoided.