Running Lapse around Variable Annuities

As the living benefits of variable annuities became more valuable during the financial crisis, contract owners astutely held on to them, according to a presentation by Ruark Consulting at a recent Society of Actuaries meeting in Chicago.

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.
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Five Challenges for Life Insurers in 2012: E&Y

“Pressures such as low interest rates, volatile equities markets, and a political and regulatory environment in flux will continue to impact the industry, making it difficult for insurers to boost earnings," Ernst & Young said iin a release.

The Fees Ate My Savings

A gerontology professor argues in a new article that Americans’ 401(k) holdings are coming up trillions of dollars short, thanks to high investment management fees.
News

Lynne Ford leaves ING

Ford’s departure was “the result of some consolidation within our broader retirement business," an ING spokesperson told RIJ.

New Celent report forecasts DC trends

The defined contribution industry will see growing use of collective investment trusts and custom target date funds, according to a new report from Celent.

Do Motley Fool stock recommendations beat the market?

“A strategy of shorting stocks with a disproportionate number of negative picks on the site and buying stocks with a disproportionate number of positive picks produces a return of over 9 percent per annum over the sample period,” a National Bureau of Economic Research paper said.

Portugal to apply pension funds to deficit

The measure aims to transfer pension funds' liabilities to the Portugese Social Security program while using the assets to help the government meet its budget deficit target and pay down its debt.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from MetLife, Vanguard, Boston Research Group, Securian, Nationwide, The Hartford and the MIT AgeLab.