Tales from the Annuity Frontier

Three pioneers in the creative use of annuities in retirement portfolios--Wade Pfau, Joe Tomlinson, and Steve Vernon--have created an "efficient frontier" for deferred income annuities in two reports published in November by the Society of Actuaries.

Research Roundup

We summarize four recent papers: 'Portfolios for Long-Term Investors,' 'What is the Value of Annuities?,' 'Public Economics and Inequality: Uncovering Our Social Nature,' and 'Financial and Total Wealth Inequality with Low Interest Rates.'

An Annuity’s ‘Moneyness’? There’s an App for That

How will variable annuity contract owners use their income benefits? That question is vital to annuity issuers and to fiduciary advisers with clients who own VAs. This Texas Dep't of Insurance actuary knows a product that can help them find out.

A Chip Off the Old Rock?

Bloomberg reported this week that Prudential is considering selling its retirement plan recordkeeping business. Prudential didn't confirm the report, but several industry insiders did. Low interest rates, high costs of IT makeovers, and sticky stable value fund guarantees are driving the move, RIJ was told.

Opportunity Knocks on the 2016 Door

Ron Surz, the target date fund authority, is back with his annual market retrospective and forecast. He apologizes for missing the mark last year (he predicted a 19% drop in 2015), but believes that equity markets won't escape the bear this year.

Global Economy ‘Frustratingly Fragile’

'There is a high likelihood of an extended pause in interest rates at, say, 1%, that opens the door for balance-sheet normalization and leaves the inflation-adjusted federal funds rate negative through 2017,' say Vanguard economists in a new Global Outlook.