The variable annuity with a lifetime income benefit--sometimes known as an exotic put option or an embedded derivative--was a product that has come back to bite many of the companies that sold it. Was this product ever the best solution for the Boomer retirement challenge?
At the LIMRA-Society of Actuaries Retirement Industry Conference in Baltimore last week, Scott Stolz from Raymond James, Greg Jaeck from Edward Jones and Jarrod Fisher from Simplicity Financial Distributors delivered frank opinions about annuities and annuity issuers.
Many factors are driving the increase in indexed annuity sales: More manufacturers, better products, more distributors, competitive commissions, aging boomers, and relaxed regulation. But does the bubble contain the seeds of its own deflation?
Israel has found that even a mandatory defined contribution system can’t resolve all of the behavioral, economic, or administrative issues that prevent low-income and minority workers from saving for retirement. (Photo: Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.)
"We have been buying inflation-linked bonds and selling government bond futures against them," writes the head of fixed income at Old Mutual Asset Managers.
"The industry’s large in-force book of variable annuity business will continue to be a drag on profitability over the near term," the ratings agency said in a recent bulletin.
The fact that 10-year Treasury rates are only about 2% indicates the market’s belief that the U.S. economy will grow slowly over the next decade, Vanguard pointed out.
Retirement Income Journal will not appear on December 28, 2011, in observance of the Christmas holidays. The next issue will appear on January 4, 2012. To all our subscribers and readers, thank you for making 2011 our best year yet!
Economic headwinds include “market volatility, Europe's banking and fiscal crises, a polarized US Congress and overzealous fiscal restraint in Washington.”
White (pictured at left) joined Allianz Life in 2009 as chief administrative officer responsible for compliance, information technology, operations, and suitability.
Brief or late-breaking items regarding AXA Equitable Life, MassMutual, Prudential Financial, Barclays Wealth, and Wealth & Pension Services Group.