Plan Experts Like Annuities

In a workshop at this week's ASPPA annual meeting in Washington, D.C., few third-party administrators believed that the average couple will be able to afford the retirement they dream of. Many people, they said (including themselves), will need annuities.

‘Smart,’ from UK, Enters the US PEP Market

'Smart' is the recently-launched American branch of a British fintech with expertise in a kind of retirement savings plan that's called a 'master trust' in the UK and a 'pooled employer plan' or PEP in the US. RIJ interviewed two of its top executives.

Research Roundup

Almost every controversial subject in the US today--from Fed policy to machine learning to immigration--contains an element or theme related to retirement policy. The articles reviewed in this month's Research Roundup are proof of that.

‘iTDFs’ Smooth the Bumps of Retirement Income

A former chief actuary of Denmark seeks a US target date fund company that might use his technology, the 'iTDF,' to create a seamless transition from pre-retirement savings to safe income during the first 20 years of retirement.
Featured

Singapore Mandates Annuities

The government of this tiny Asian nation has confronted its collective longevity risk by requiring the purchase of annuities with defined contribution assets. Wharton pension expert Olivia Mitchell and colleagues have written a new paper about it.

AXA Equitable Introduces Structured VA Product

AXA Equitable has put structured notes inside a variable annuity, giving investors tax-deferred exposure to small-cap, gold and oil indices for specific periods while capping their upside and buffering their downside.
News

Quote of the Week

“We’re not trying to force all employees into annuities. We’re all about creating more opportunities for people”-- J. Mark Iwry, senior advisor in the Treasury Department, speaking at the ASPPA annual meeting in Washington this week.

Which Firms Connect Best with Advisors?

“Prudential has strengthened its grip on advisors in the variable annuity space over the past year," says Cogent Research in a study of advisor loyalty to variable annuity issuers, mutual fund companies and ETF providers.

U.K. To Raise Retirement Age, Implement National DC Plan

In a move that resembles the Obama administration's "auto-IRA" program for workers in companies that don't offer retirement plans, the British are hoping to jump-start middle-class savings with their National Employment Savings Trust.

U.S. Retirement System Rates a ‘Low C’: Mercer

Analysts at Mercer say the U.S. could improve its private pension system by, among other things, requiring that participants convert at least part of their retirement savings to an income stream.

Final Rule on 401(k) Fee Disclosure Issued

The 72 million participants in defined contribution plans in the U.S. are about to get more fee and expense disclosures than they'll know what to do with.

The Bucket

Late-breaking items from Allianz Life of North America, MetLife, Nationwide Financial, Prudential and Genworth Financial.