From the September 2008 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

September 1, 2008

Retirement News & Products

Women continue to be less prepared for retirement than men, according to a new study by Hewitt Associates, the HR consulting and research firm. Not only do women need to save more for retirement than men, but the study also highlighted that the gap between the amount women need to save and the amount they are actually saving is larger than the gap for men. Moreover, this gap will continue to grow due to lower salaries, conservative investing, longer life expectancies, and higher retiree medical needs, the study says. The study examined the projected retirement levels of nearly 2 million employees at 72 large U.S. companies, and found that both men and women are on track to replace 85% of pay at retirement, assuming average life expectancy. "However, women, on average, need to replace nearly 130% of their final pay at retirement--seven percentage points more than men," the study revealed. "When factoring in differences in longevity, that disparity jumps to 10 percentage points. In other words, the average woman will need to save 2% of pay more per year than the average man, over 30 years, to achieve the same standard of living."

New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation recently launched a fixed deferred annuity product, the New York Life Select 5 Fixed Annuity, a single premium product offering clients a competitive interest rate that is guaranteed for five years with full liquidity at the end of the guarantee period. The Select 5 product offers the stability of an interest rate that's guaranteed for five years, and at the end of the five-year interest rate guarantee period, clients have complete access to their money. Access to money when a client needs it is provided through a 10% surrender-charge-free window during the first five years and with no surrender penalty after the five-year interest rate guarantee expires, NY Life says.

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company recently launched a Web site--My Retirement Shop (www.MyRetirementShop.com)--providing consumers who are near or in retirement with a range of information, tools, and links on how to prepare for, and live in, retirement. Among the features is a concierge service, which provides travel services, and allows users to reserve spa visits, restaurant reservations, golf tee times, and theater tickets. Additional features include a retirement job bank and information from partners Fodor's and Kiplinger's, a community section, and a prominent link to AXA Equitable's own Web site.

Stephen Mitchell was recently named Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA). Mitchell was formerly with Merrill Lynch and responsible for the Merrill Lynch Advice Access program and Merrill Lynch Retirement Income Services.

Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.