The Senate Aging Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on whether annuities that provide guaranteed income for life should be a component of any retirement savings plan.
Those testifying at the hearing, “The Retirement Challenge–Making Savings Last a Lifetime,” will debate the pros and cons of a Department of Labor proposal issued in February dealing with such instruments.
The proposal requested information about strategies for helping workers convert savings from 401(k) plans and other defined contribution retirement plans into a guaranteed stream of lifetime income.
The proposal also asked commentators whether regulators should require employers with 401(k)s to offer a lifetime income option or automatically enroll employees who don’t make a selection.
The proposal has generated more than 700 comments that the agency is now reviewing.
The American Council of Life Insurers supports such a provision, arguing in its comment letter that workers should have an option to annuitize at least part of their savings.
“We believe that they would greatly benefit from knowing how their retirement savings translates into monthly income,” ACLI said in a statement.
Among other commentators, the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries, Arlington, Va., is calling for “robust debate” on lifetime income options for participants and beneficiaries in retirement plans.
ASPPA is also calling for balance in the suggested alternatives, says Craig P. Hoffman, general counsel of ASPPA.