IRI Report: Positive Signs For Retirement Income Industry

Posted on December 14, 2018

Improving Sales, Favorable Retirement Legislation And Demographic Trends

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Improving sales, advancement of favorable legislation and demographic trends are among positive factors for the insured retirement industry, according to the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) in its State of the Insured Retirement Industry report.

IRI’s report covers trends and significant events over the past year and explores themes likely to emerge in 2019. This year’s report includes review and analysis of demographic factors and their expected impact on the industry, market and product development trends, an in-depth examination of product shifts by distribution channel, and the impact and implications of important legal and regulatory developments.

IRI noted that annuity sales are rebounding and show promise of continued growth as consumers and financial advisors understand the need to include guaranteed monthly retirement income options in retirement planning. Also, IRI advocacy has significantly advanced bipartisan retirement security legislation in Congress this session. Enactment of that measure would expand the ability for employers to offer retirement plans to workers with increased ability to offer guaranteed monthly income options.

“In March, many breathed a sigh of relief when the DOL fiduciary rule, which had caused significant disruption and uncertainty over the past few years, was vacated by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals,” IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford said. “But some states have reacted by initiating their own, similar regulations which threatens to create a patchwork regulatory quilt affecting the industry with multiple and disparate regulations.”

Weatherford also noted that American workers are now more responsible for their own retirement financial well-being as employer-provided pension plans continue to disappear and are replaced by defined contribution plans such as 401(k) where workers contribute a portion of their salary to save for retirement.

“Americans are still increasingly faced with the responsibility of creating their own retirement security, by saving more, creating solid plans, and utilizing the guaranteed lifetime income and investment protection solutions that only the insured retirement industry can provide,” she said. “While regulatory challenges and uncertainty may continue, so will consumer need and our industry’s ability to meet that need. IRI remains committed to ensuring that consumers have access to retirement income solutions, and through our advocacy of comprehensive retirement security legislation, we are helping ensure that common sense, pro-retirement policies are preserved and expanded.”

For an Executive Summary of the report click here.

For a copy of the full report click here.

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