Micro-Pensions in Central America

You've heard of micro-credit: those mini-loans to female entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Now a micro-pension movement is underway, and one of the first pilot projects starts next month in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Part I of a two-part article.

Marshmallows and Social Security

Should US retirees delay claiming Social Security until age 70, even if they have to spend savings until then? The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College proposes that strategy as a default option in retirement plans.

How to Choose an Annuity Issuer

Shopping for an annuity, like shopping for a car, involves questions about the manufacturer of the product. Do their products perform as expected? Will service quality be high? Are they likely to stay in business? We show you where to look for answers.

Time to Put Benjamins Back in the Sock Drawer?

At the LIMRA annual conference in Boston earlier this week, MIT economist James Poterba described how low interest rates make saving for retirement more of a challenge.
News

MetLife Tops VA Sales in 2Q

Variable annuity sales improved for the fifth consecutive quarter in the second quarter of 2011, while fixed annuity sales were one percent less than in the year-ago quarter, according to a report from LIMRA.

It pays not to panic, Fidelity survey shows

Plan participants who dropped to zero equities but then returned to some equities after the 2008 crisis saw an average account balance increase of 25% by June 30, 2011, compared to 50% for those who stuck with their equities.

The Bucket

Brief and late-breaking items from T. Rowe Price, Securian, Zurich, The Hartford, New York Life and MetLife.

The Great Contraction

'The global economy is badly overleveraged, and there is no quick escape without a scheme to transfer wealth from creditors to debtors, either through defaults, financial repression, or inflation,' writes Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff.

Does Decumulation Spell Doom?

Economists at the San Francisco Fed suggest that P/E ratios are bound to suffer as the Boomer cohort gets older and liquidates its assets.