Hartford Life Insurance Company plans to make protection of retirement income a major focus, a top executive says.[@@]

Hartford Life, a unit of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, recently held an investment outlook meeting here in New York.

John Walters, head of Hartford Life’s investment products division, said at the meeting that Hartford Life is implementing the retirement income protection strategy by creating products that fit, reaching out to advisors, and building retirement plan capabilities.

Offering retirement income planning tools is important to current efforts to serve aging baby boomers because research shows that most people make retirement decisions 5 years before retirement, then stick with those decisions, Walters said.

Walters said Hartford Life is developing single-person 401(k) plans and other retirement plan products for very small employers.

The company also is preparing to launch a flexible retirement income protection product that will be similar to a deferred immediate annuity, Walters said.

The new product, due out during the first half of 2006, will appeal to buyers with different budgets by coming with a wide variety of options, such as an optional return-of-premium feature, Walters said.