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Cerulli: Insurers to scale back product guarantees

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Half of U.S. insurers plan to reduce, within the next three years, products that feature guaranteed living benefits, according to new research.

Cerulli Associates discloses this finding in “The Cerulli Edge: Retirement Edition.” The report examines alternative retirement income solutions and, in particular, retirement income products apart from variable annuities with guaranteed riders and mutual funds.

“Asset managers have realistic expectations for insurers’ plans for guaranteed retirement income opportunities,” says Cerulli Director Bing Waldert in a prepared statement. “Managers may benefit from collaboration with insurers to design the next generation of retirement income products focused on placing the consumer back at the center of the value proposition, and emphasizing how it will help investors retire more securely.”

The report highlights a number of “external factors” that advisors face in providing retirement income advice. Among these is “lack of consumer awareness” (reported by 29.1 percent of advisors Cerulli surveyed in the second quarter of 2014).

Smaller percentages advisors also flagged the “very time consuming” nature of the process (24.6 percent), “product complexity” (18.3 percent) and “client resistance due to unclear benefits (18.2 percent).


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