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Life Health > Running Your Business > Marketing and Lead Generation

Consumers Are Nervous. Is That Good for Annuities?

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What You Need to Know

  • Market research from F&G finds consumers are much more likely to be worried about their future retirement income now than they were a year ago.
  • Meanwhile, Jackson research finds that retirees who have defined benefit pensions from their employers are more likely to have individual annuities.

Investors are more nervous about the stability of their retirement income — and that could hurt annuity sales.

That possibility emerges from a review of new batches of market research data from F&G and Jackson.

F&G found that consumers are much more likely to be worried about their future retirement income now than they were a year ago, or two years ago.

Jackson learned, when it conducted a separate survey, that retirees who have defined benefit pensions from their employers are more likely, not less likely, to have individual annuities than other, seemingly comparable retirees.

What It Means

Jackson’s survey results could mean that workers who learn about the concept of guaranteed retirement income from a traditional defined benefit pension plan are simply more aware of, and more interested in, guaranteed retirement income than other workers.

But the results could also mean that workers who feel secure about at least some of their retirement income are more confident than other workers and more comfortable about the idea of taking active steps to strengthen already strong retirement planning.

The Data

F&G posted data from a Risk Tolerance Tracker program survey conducted in October. The sample included 1,691 U.S. adults ages 30 and older who own financial products valued at $10,000 or more.

The Des Moines, Iowa-based annuity issuer found that the percent of survey participants who said they were worried about their retirement income increased to 73% this year, from 61% in 2021, and from 60% in 2020.

Jackson — an annuity giant based in Lansing, Michigan — released a little new data from surveys conducted from late 2021 through Sept. 30. The survey participants were Golden Agers, or investors ages 50 through 80 who were either retired or within 10 years of their anticipated retirement dates, and who have, or are on track to have, at least $250,000 in financial assets to get them through retirement.

Some of the Jackson survey participants said they had purchased individual annuities to “ensure sufficient guaranteed retirement income.”

About 37% of the survey participants who bought their own annuities to ensure access to sufficient guaranteed retirement income also had employer pensions. Only 31% of the annuity buyers were retirees or near-retirees without a pension.

Jackson also found that survey participants who classified themselves as “spenders” rather than “savers” were much less likely than the savers to have guaranteed sources of retirement income. In early retirement, for example, 75% of the savers had sources of guaranteed retirement income in place, and just 55% of the spenders had sources of guaranteed retirement income lined up.

The spenders were both doing less to protect themselves against outliving their income and more nervous about longevity risk: Only about 6% of the spenders said they were “extremely confident” they could make their savings last an extra 10 years in retirement, compared with 14% of the savers.


Chris Blunt. (Photo: F&G) Chris Blunt. (Photo: F&G)

Chris Blunt, the CEO of F&G, said survey participants seem to relax a little in 2021, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic eased.

Now, “the events of 2022 have pushed American investors to be even more risk averse than they were in the middle of the pandemic,” Blunt said.

He said working with financial advisors can help investors avoid volatility-related panic.

Glen Franklin, a Jackson research executive, said he was surprised to see survey participants with a greater need for guaranteed income buying less of it.

Glen Franklin. (Photo: Jackson) Glen Franklin. (Photo: Jackson)

“Guaranteed income is often marketed as a way to spend without worry,” he said.

For the spenders who are not sure where their future retirement income will be coming from, “it would be more effective to describe guaranteed income to this demographic as a way to protect savings,” he added.

(Image: fizkes/Adobe Stock)


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