Accenture has purchased annuities from American International Group and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance to move $1 billion worth of its US pension liabilities off its balance sheet. The company also made lump-sum distributions totaling $600 million to current and former employees who chose that option.
A survey by the New York Life Center for Retirement Income discovered that very few retirees and pre-retirees know anything about annuities. Among Americans aged 60 to 75 who had $100,000 or more in household assets outside of home equity, only 20% could accurately answer basic questions about annuities.
A report from the consulting firm Novarica takes a look at how annuity issuers plan to put information technology to use. Projects to improve customer portals are largely midlevel priorities for the firms, according to the report, while high priorities include reinsurance management systems, business intelligence systems and agent portals.
Based on inflation trends, retirees should see a 2% bump in the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment next year, which would be the largest since 2012, writes columnist Mark Miller. However, he contends that rising Medicare Part B premiums, which are deducted from Social Security, are expected to take a major portion of the projected increase.
Columnist Shelley Seale points out that when people make plans for retirement they tend to focus on the financial aspects, but more thought should be given to what kind of life they want to have when they quit work. She quotes adviser Cass Grange of the Lucien, Stirling & Gray Advisory Group, who says people usually know what they want to retire from but not what they want to retire to, which is just as crucial as the financial considerations.
Citigroup's Economic Surprise Index continues to fall, indicating continued disappointment with the US economy. "The good news is that when it's down this hard it usually starts to bounce back up," said Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research.
Humans will prevail against machines in the battle for financial advisory business, DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeffrey Gundlach says. He cites the danger of robo-advisors' one-size-fits-all solution: "Everybody gets the same portfolio, which means everybody owns the same stock, which means when they all decide to get out, you cause a crash."
Marking its 16th year in publication, the IRI Fact Book continues to be a reliable, trusted source for information regarding the insured retirement industry. Building on the redesign and renaming that commenced with the 10th edition in 2011, we strive to improve content each year, while keeping the focus on practical information that can help financial professionals better understand and serve their clients, including through the exploration and analysis of retirement topics beyond annuities. Readers will find practice management tips and information, the latest consumer and advisor research regarding retirement planning, current retirement market statistics, and much more. As IRI continues to grow to serve the diverse needs of the people and organizations that we are proud to represent, this publication will also evolve as a resource for the entire insured retirement industry and the consumers that invest in our strategies.
The spring 2017 edition of IRI Insight looks at the retirement preparedness and confidence of baby boomers, finding that millions have limited savings and a poor understanding of the cost of retirement. More than ever, they need financial professionals to help them optimize their sources of income and ensure they do not outlive their financial resources. The spring edition also discusses empowering clients to make decisions in their best interest, the power of qualified longevity annuity contracts, and important retirement information and planning steps associated with age milestones.