In an attempt to help create a source of income that people can’t outlive, the federal government is trying to make it easier for workers to buy annuities with their retirement savings. To this end, the Treasury Department rolled out a proposal last Thursday making it possible to buy “longevity” annuities with a portion of savings in employer-sponsored retirement plans, including 401(k)s. A separate proposal pushes partial annuity options for traditional pension plans, while a third clarifies how protections for workers and their spouses apply to annuities in retirement plans. These proposals echo moves from insurers earlier this year, notably ING, who introduced a “lifetime-income protection” program that gradually would move retirement assets from target-date funds into variable annuities with minimum guaranteed withdrawal benefits. 

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