Unlikely Rescuer

At least three proposals have been floated to open state pensions to private sector workers who have no retirement plan. Given the troubles of many state plans, that's counterintuitive. Artwork by Zaza Khabuliani.

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.
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Changing Money

On a recent visit to Shanghai, our contributor found that a dollar doesn't command as much respect on the streets of China as it once did.
News

AARP launches Social Security benefits calculator

The AARP Social Security Benefits Calculator walks users through a simple, question-and-answer format and provides estimates for both monthly and lifetime benefits across a range of ages.

A.M. Best reports on impact of low rates

Although the capital impact has been partially mitigated by substantial capital raising in recent years, additional capital requirements are likely to emerge if low interest rates persist.

The Hartford adds enhanced death benefit to Future6 GLWB

The Future6 Death Benefit allows for income withdrawals that do not reduce the death benefit, unlike most VA death benefits, according to Steve Kluever, vice president of product and marketing for Global Annuities at The Hartford.

Our Half-Full, Half-Empty Retirement Glass

The private DC system covers only about half of American workers at any given time. Proposals to open state pension plans to uncovered workers have been made, and the threat of competition may actually be healthy for the 401(k) system.