Guaranteed For Any Lifespan

Feb 22, 2024

When Edith Ceccarelli was born, the life expectancy for American baby girls was about 53 years.

Earlier this month, she celebrated her 116th birthday.

Ceccarelli clearly beat the odds. But she is far from alone.

There are more than 100,000 centenarians in the United States now. That number is expected to quadruple in the next 30 years.

A record 4.1 million Americans are turning 65 this year. Odds are most of them won’t live to be 100. But no one knows for sure. Is it any wonder that one of Americans’ greatest fears is outliving their assets?

There is one proven way to even up the odds: an annuity. Annuities can provide guaranteed income for life — no matter how long that life lasts.

The peace of mind and financial certainty that annuities provide is undoubtedly a driving force behind the record annuity sales of the last two years. The income from annuities in retirement can provide savers with a critical supplement to their Social Security.

An older couple in good health paying a mortgage needs $50,016 a year to meet basic needs, according to The Elder Index. The average Social Security benefit for a couple is $32,868 per year. Annuities can help fill that gap. Indeed, three out of four annuity owners receive $18,000 or less in annuity income per year.

The steady stream of income from annuities can be invaluable for Americans, helping them plan and budget for unexpected costs in retirement.  

Life insurers believe everyone should be able to access savings opportunities and that public policies must safeguard access to financial and retirement security. That’s why we are so adamantly opposed to a fiduciary-only proposal from the Department of Labor that will make it harder for middle-income savers to access annuities.

As fewer Americans have a traditional pension, it is essential that retirement savers have access to financial tools that provide guaranteed income for life. Americans deserve a sure bet throughout retirement—just like previous generations received from traditional pensions.

The DOL should withdraw its fiduciary-only proposal. That way, Americans will be able to access income guaranteed for the rest of their lives, no matter how long they live.

Susan K. Neely

Susan K. Neely is the President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the nation’s leading trade association determined to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. As president and CEO, Neely drives public policy and advocacy on behalf of ACLI’s member companies that represent 93 percent of industry assets and serve 90 million families.