Blog: Bearmoor Notes

Thursday, January 8, 2009

401(k) Investments Changing the Retirement Market

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 8,000 Americans are turning 65 each day, and therefore adding to the number of individuals that need to rely upon retirement savings plans for their source of funds. For years investment professionals have assisted in providing vehicles to save for retirement, one such vehicle being the defined contribution plan, predominately the 401(k). Over the past twelve months, a large percentage of these self-directed plans have experienced a significant decline in value – thus creating a very uncertain time for many of those approaching or contemplating retirement. Uncertainty creates opportunity and in this case insurance companies are rushing to offer annuities for the 401(k) channel.

While the amounts and numbers entering the 401(k) annuity market are unknown, this does seem to be an opportune time for the insurance companies to re-introduce the annuity product to plan sponsors. While there remain some shortcomings to this product, including the fact that not all plan participants would benefit from such a product, interest is growing and therefore will become another option for plan sponsors and participants. To offer a proactive solution to your plan sponsor clients, you should be aware of these annuity offerings and their impact on the business.

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