June 1, 2008

Annuity features added as boomer retirement nears

It's good to see the message is getting out in the mainstream press. The Chicago Tribune reports that annuity providers are racing to add even more bells and whistles to annuity products. The reason? Record sales last year and the coming wave of retiring baby boomers. Yes, the products are already complicated, as the story notes, but the increase in product customization speaks to what the boomer demographic is looking for.

According tot the Tribune, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. recently unveiled Crossings: My Lifetime IRA, a deferred variable annuity aimed at retiring workers rolling over their workplace savings plans. The product guarantees a retiree can withdraw at least 5 percent annually for life, with incentives for strong market performance and for delaying initial withdrawals.

The New York-based insurer is just one of several that are offering enhanced annuity riders this year, says the paper. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Prudential Annuities and others have launched new features since the beginning of the year.

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