Retirement income products represent the life insurance industry’s best prospect for real growth in 2008, according to consultants at Ernst & Young L.L.P.

Insurers have to be more aggressive about competing for the business of the 35 million middle-wealth baby boomers who are about to shift their defined-contribution plan assets into income-producing financial products, the consultants write in a 2008 life industry forecast released by the New York office of Ernst & Young.

Other key issues will include regulatory concerns and expore to credit risk, the consultants write.