Tag Archives: Annuities

The intersection of annuity products and intellectual property law

I started writing about annuities almost two years ago when I asked the question (rhetorical, of course), Are 401(k) plans transforming into defined benefit plans? Since then, the financial industry’s race to develop and distribute retirement income products has been accelerating, and I’ll be increasing my coverage of this emerging area accordingly. And one piece of recent … Continue Reading

“I asked you what time it was, not how to make a watch”

Every once in a while I’ll start to wander off into “Pensionspeak” when I’m talking to a client. And when I do, I’ll catch myself by remembering what one of our important business partners once told me when I started to get too technical. Or even technical at all depending on the audience. He told … Continue Reading

Investing for 401(k) accumulation not the same as investing for lifetime income

While most investors these days are focusing on risk in terms of the market and its effect on their account balances, Tim Burns in his blog, Fiduciary Investor, says that they should pay attention to a larger risk. It’s longevity risk, or the risk of a retiree outliving his or her assets. Mr. Burns, in … Continue Reading

The deannuitization of defined benefit pension plans

I’ve written about the "annuity puzzle" before. That’s the investment industry term for the disconnect between the economic arguments of annuitizing a lump sum amount and the investor’s aversion to doing so. Most of the retirement plan industry attention recently has been focused on the "annuitization" of 401(k) plans. That is, adding annuity options to … Continue Reading

The changing retirement plan system

Back in the day – before the Boomers were called Boomers and before choice entererd the employee benefit lexicon– the standard retirement plan was a defined benefit pension plan. The employer was responsible for the investment of plan assets, and the employee received a monthly income at retirement.  Today the standard retirement plan is a 401(k) plan starting … Continue Reading

Solving the “annuity puzzle”

I recently wrote about retirees moving to Tibet, a metaphor for retirees moving from the “land of accumulation” to the “land of accumulation” and the new financial culture with which they will have to master. The “tour guides”, the financial industry, will have to solve the “annuity puzzle”, the investment industry term for the disconnect between … Continue Reading

Are 401(k) plans transforming into defined benefit plans?

401(k) plan focus is shifting from the accumulation phase to the distribution phase. The why is obvious. The first wave of Baby Boomers are reaching age 60 who have significant concerns about running out of money. The how is being provided by 401(k) providers – insurance companies and mutual funds – who are beginning to … Continue Reading