“People want a check that won’t run out,” says Mitch Politzer matter of factly, in discussing the needs of retirees. After all, he says, retirement income is simply “liquification of assets for monthly income.” As senior VP of Ameritas Direct, which provides no-load insurance products, including variable annuities, Politzer notes that unlike some other popular annuities, “there are no guarantees in my products.” Instead, he says, pricing for Ameritas’s VAs are “simple and transparent,: and unlike his competitors who are charging for this “hedged pricing of the riders,” he believes advisors prefer to “buy a hedge more efficiently than I can.”

As for concern voiced by some observers that insurers may have a hard time assuming the risk inherent in all those guaranteed riders, Politzer says that “very few insurers carry the risk themselves. “Talk to the reinsurers,” he suggests; “they’re voting with their feet.” Those reinsurers, he says, “are punting.”