Just over half of retirees and pre-retirees surveyed say that income guaranteed for life is most important to them.

A new study by the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute finds the majority of retirees and pre-retirees are more interested in income solutions that offer investment growth, flexibility, and guaranteed lifetime income than in those allowing them to maintain control over the management of their assets.

When asked to name the most important products or features they want in an income plan, 60 percent of retirees and pre-retirees say they would like an income that had the potential for investment growth. Flexibility in changing the amount of income is cited among 55 percent. And just over half say income that is guaranteed for life is most important to them. 

When asked to assign points across their top five features, giving more points to their highest priorities, guaranteed lifetime income receives by far the highest average allocated point totals.

A follow-up question asks why these income features were chosen. On income growth, the top reason is the expectation of living a long time in retirement. The top reasons for choosing income flexibility are the uncertainty of future expenses and having money for emergencies. Retirees and pre-retirees who prefer a guaranteed lifetime income say they chose this feature for peace of mind.

Fewer than half of those surveyed say that controlling how their investments are managed or allocated is a top income feature. Since the economic crash in 2009, trends suggest that pre-retirees and retirees have put less emphasis on the control of how investments are managed in favor of securing an income for life.