A new LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute study found that the more knowledge someone has about annuities, the more likely they are to have a positive attitude about them and eventually own one.  

“Knowledge and attitude are the key factors,” said Jafor Iqbal, associate managing director, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. “Households with positive attitudes are six times more likely to own an annuity than those who are unfamiliar with or have negative attitudes about annuities.”

Iqbal recommends that insurance companies and advisors communicate the benefits of annuities and debunk the myths surrounding them.  While about a third of households own an annuity, there is a great deal of opportunity to promote them in the context of retirement planning, especially in the area of lifetime income.

Peace of mind, stable income and lessening the risk of running out of money in retirement were cited as the top three reasons to create a guaranteed lifetime income among households that owned annuities, as well as those that did not. (See chart)

Among annuity owners, 4 out of 5 said they are a “good fit” for their financial needs and 70 percent are willing to recommend annuities to friends and family members.

Iqbal said clients and advisors can benefit from information from credible sources and cited the recent Treasury ruling on longevity annuities as an example of a public endorsement of their value to consumers.

“Annuity owners show a noticeable improvement in confidence about their ability for a secure retirement compared to those without an annuity,” said Iqbal.  “This is consistent across all the wealth segments we studied.” 

The study involved consumers age 50 and older with at least $100,000 in investible assets.