Did You Know?
- That, as of the first quarter 2011, the combined net assets of U.S. variable annuities were valued at nearly $1.6 trillion, an 11% increase from first quarter 2010 and the highest level ever recorded?
- In 2010 fixed annuity assets were valued at $659 billion a 6% increase from 2009?
- That in 2010, the total average expense difference between variable annuities and mutual funds was 1.01%?
- In 2011, the contribution limits range from $5,000-$6,000 for an IRA, $16,500-$22,000 for a 401(k) and $200,000 plus for a non-qualified annuity?
- That the average number of funds per variable annuity contract was 50 in 2010, of which 47% of assets were invested in equities, 11% in bonds, and 20% in fixed-rate accounts?
- That the guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit was offered on 79% of variable annuities in 2011 and was elected by 65% of contract holders?
- Boomers who own annuities have a higher confidence in retirement expectations, with 92% believing they are doing a good job in preparing for retirement?
Tools to Assist in Your Retirement Investment Decisions
The Insured Retirement Institute's mission is to be a resource to the media, regulators, advisors, and investors by providing information that can be of assistance in the education and better understanding of annuities. The following are press articles that show a sampling of how annuities are appropriately portrayed in the media.
Two major changes are taking place in the annuity industry today. According to a new report released by Cogent Research and the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), conversations with advisors have become more emotional and are heavily geared toward securing retirement income as opposed to accumulating assets. In fact, nearly two-thirds (65%) of advisors currently selling annuities indicate that guaranteed income options are expected to increase in importance over the next five years – more so than any other factor.
Annuity sales in 2010 crossed the $200 billion mark and 2011 sales continue to climb in double-digit leaps. This is a good time to be an annuity seller and, with the dramatic stock market fluctuations of late, it’s a good time to be an annuity buyer.
Social Security payments will increase by 3.6 percent next year, the government announced last week. This is the first cost of living adjustment (COLA) for the program in three years. It will boost a typical retiree's payments by roughly $500 during 2012. Given price increases and tough economic times for many seniors, you'd think the extra money would be welcome.
The good news: Social Security recipients are getting their first cost-of-living raise, 3.6 percent, since 2009. The bad news: Rising Medicare premiums will eat into that increase for many, and could erase it entirely for a small percentage.
The first Social Security increase since 2009 means an average raise of $39 a month for retirees. What will $39 buy?
NBC Nightly News references the Insured Retirement Institute's research in the segment "Job Market Even Tougher for Older Americans."