In The Insurance Letter‘s article “Proposed Legislation Should Boost Retirement Annuity Sales,” Alan Levine describes Senate bill 2832. The proposed amendment to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 is meant to help broaden the awareness of planning for a lifetime of retirement income. Most retirement plans now only show the lump-sum value on participants annual statements. This bill would require 401k and other private retirement plans to show more information on their annual statements. Plan sponsors would have to show how that lump-sum value will pay out in guaranteed monthly income, based on retirement age and the investment vehicles used by participants.
Senate bill 2832 could encourage investors to make 401k annuity rollovers with their retirement income. Since a lump-sum value is really only half of the retirement picture, investors ability to see how their money translates into guaranteed lifetime payments is crucial. With the government’s possible new requirements, 401k and other retirement plan sponsors might be adding more immediate annuities and variable annuities that have guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits. With more than $3 trillion in retirement plan assets, the government’s regulations could surely effect a lot of annuity decision making. The government would not require annuities to be offered, but by requiring monthly payout options to be disclosed, annuities seem to offer the best guaranteed income benefits.