David Levenson (Photo: Allison Bell/TA) David Levenson (Photo: Allison Bell/TA)

Life insurers and their vendors made the case this week in Baltimore that retirement income guarantees matter, and that life insurers can meet their income guarantee obligations.

The income planning community traveled to the Charm City waterfront for the 2019 Retirement Industry Conference, which was organized by the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute and the Society of Actuaries.

(Related: 3 Cases for Annuities in a Turbulent Market)

Many of the speakers and exhibitors focused on the employer-sponsored retirement plan market, and some of the speakers who talked about the individual retirement planning market expressed frustration.

Ronnie Klein, director of global aging at the Geneva Association, presented the results of a survey of 7,000 people in seven countries.

The presentation title was, “Why People Don’t Buy Annuities,” and Klein pointed out that price is just of the barriers involved.

David Levenson, LIMRA’s president, pointed out that the need is still obviously there: by 2045, there are likely to be 84 million retirees in the United States alone.

Speakers involved with the Alliance for Lifetime Income appeared on a panel about how to change the public’s perception of annuities, and meet the looming demand for $780 billion in guaranteed lifetime income.

Analysts at the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute predicted in a new forecast that, in spite of consumers’ current lack of focus on annuities, overall sales of individual annuities could increase to $280 billion by 2023, up from about $234 billion in 2018.

Rising interest rates should help insurers support a big increase in fixed annuity sales, and sales of variable annuities should continue to rebound, the analysts predicted.

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