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IRI To Administration: Provide Incentives For Guaranteed Lifetime Income

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The Insured Retirement Institute is asking the U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Department of Labor to create incentives for employers to make guaranteed lifetime income strategies available inside employer-sponsored retirement plans.

The Washington trade group made that request in a 38-page document it has sent to the departments in response to their February request for information regarding guaranteed lifetime income.

The departments had issued the RFI after the Obama administration made it clear that it would “promote” annuities and other guaranteed lifetime income strategies through its Middle Class Task Force, IRI says.

In its response, IRI indicates that the association consulted with over 70 experts among its members, including major insurers, broker-dealers, asset managers, banks and financial advisors. “Our members represent the complete supply chain of insured retirement strategies,” says IRI President Cathy Weatherford.

In addition to calling for incentives to make guaranteed lifetime income strategies available inside employer-sponsored retirement plans, the IRI document also requests:

- Help with making guaranteed lifetime income solutions attractive for investors outside of employer sponsored plans, including in individual retirement accounts, by incentivizing their use and educating Americans about their benefits.

- Simplifification of rules and elimination of administrative burdens for employers who wish to include guaranteed lifetime income products as investment or distribution options in their retirement plans.

- Encouragement for efforts to provide high-quality educational materials to individuals, by eliminating the current administrative barriers and regulatory uncertainty

Financial advisors are already making increased use of guaranteed income products with their clients, Weatherford notes in the cover letter that accompanies the IRI response. “We encourage the administration to take additional steps to continue this trend and help all Americans take advantage of the benefits of guaranteed lifetime income strategies,” she writes.

The IRI guaranteed income RFI response is available here..

The Treasury and Labor departments’ original RFI is available here.