Financial services companies are working with a veteran industry outreach campaign specialist in Washington to promote public awareness of, and support for, retirement income arrangements.
The companies have joined together to start a new Alliance for Lifetime Income.
The alliance is a nonprofit, 501(c)(6) organization that has three main goals:
- Educating Americans about the value of protecting income as part of a retirement plan.
- Making retirement income planning easier.
- Helping consumers better understand annuities.
The alliance has hired Colin Devine, a longtime securities and rating analyst, to serve as its education advisor.
Jean Statler, a managing partner at Statler Nagle LLC, registered the organization in Washington and is in charge of recruiting new members.
Statler was a senior vice president at Harris Interactive. She has also been vice president of communications at the American Plastics Council. While at the council, she helped develop the council’s “Plastics Make It Possible” campaign.
Devine said in an interview that, although the alliance is interested in annuities, the alliance will take a broad approach to income planning issues.
“It’s about awareness,” Devine said. “It’s not product-specific.”
Devine said the group wants to reach financial professionals as well as consumers.
The group hopes to encourage financial professionals to move away from an exclusive focus on asset accumulation and to think more about what happens when clients retire, Devine said.
“It’s time for them to have a dialogue with their clients about planning for retirement income,” Devine said.
Nuts and Bolts
The alliance has a website aimed at financial services organizations here.
A website aimed at consumers and other members of the general public is located here.
The site aimed at financial services professionals and organizations offers results from a new survey the alliance commissioned. The alliance found, for example, that 48% of members of households with heads ages 45 to 72, and assets of $74,000 to $1.99 million, expect to retire with no guaranteed source of monthly income other than Social Security benefits.
The consumer-facing website, RetireYourRisk.org, offers a chart that shows visitors how annuities compare with certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds and exchange-traded funds for retirement savers.
Other consumer site features include stories about real people have handled income planning.
The list of founding organizations includes companies best known as insurers, including American International Group Inc., Allianz Life, AXA Equitable Holdings Inc., Brighthouse Financial, Global Atlantic, Jackson National, Lincoln Financial, MassMutual, Nationwide, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, State Farm, TIAA and Transamerica.
The list of founders also includes companies best known as asset managers and advisors, such as Capital Group, Franklin Templeton, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Invesco, JP Morgan, Macquarie, Milliman, SSGA and T. Rowe Price.
AIG put out press releases welcoming the birth of the alliance.
Jana Greer, president of AIG’s retirement unit, said in a statement that AIG is happy to see financial services organizations use the alliance to offer a unified, educational approach to increasing awareness of income planning.
“Today’s longer lifespans are a game-changer,” Greer said. “They make running out of money in retirement a serious concern for millions of Americans. That’s why raising national awareness and changing the conversation from saving to retirement income has never been more important.”
AXA Equitable also put out a press release hailing the launch. The company noted that it has been in existence for more than 150 years.
“Joining the Alliance for Lifetime Income is yet another way it can help people retire with dignity, protect their families and prepare for their financial futures with confidence,” the company said.
Lincoln Financial has added a section to its website that encourages visitors to its site to visit the consumer-facing alliance website.
“We believe you deserve protected income in retirement that will last the rest of your life,” Lincoln says on its site. “And we believe it’s our responsibility to help you get the facts….
“We think it’s your turn to feel confident. That’s why we’ve joined together with leading retirement thinkers, advocates, and providers in our industry as part of the Alliance for Lifetime Income to help ensure you have the resources you need to plan for reliable retirement income.”
— Read LTCI Watch: Awareness, on ThinkAdvisor.