Listen to the Real Experts

Dec 5, 2023

Most workers aren’t covered by a traditional pension. And for many of them, Social Security will not provide enough income for a secure retirement.

To plug the retirement income gap, Americans are increasingly turning to annuities, which can provide a stress-free, guaranteed income stream in retirement like a pension. Annuity sales set a record last year according to LIMRA, and are on pace to do so again this year.

Last year, life insurers paid out more than $95 billion in annuity benefits. Much of this was sent to middle-income families, as the median household income among annuity owners is $76,000 a year.

Next year, the largest number of Americans ever will turn 65. But many of them will be unable to access annuities for retirement if an ill-conceived fiduciary-only proposal from the Department of Labor (DOL) is approved.

Why on earth would anyone want to make it harder for middle-income Americans to get guaranteed income for life?

That’s what financial professionals from across the nation would like to know. A large group from the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) is in Washington D.C. this week, where they will be meeting with lawmakers to discuss financial security issues, including the DOL’s proposed regulation.

NAIFA financial professionals have first-hand knowledge of their clients’ financial security and retirement needs. They know Main Street America and are there to support American families when they need it most.

Americans greatly value working with financial professionals. A recent survey by Greenwald Research shows that 81% feel the guidance they receive from financial professionals helps them feel reassured during difficult economic times.

Public policy should be helping Americans achieve financial certainty, not making it harder. The U.S. Congress understands this. It expanded worker access to lifetime income options for retirement savings in two bipartisan retirement bills in 2019 and 2022. The DOL’s proposal does the opposite by restricting access.

Instead of forcing a misguided plan hatched in Washington D.C. onto the nation’s savers, the DOL should instead listen to the real experts who work every day to help people save for retirement – people like NAIFA financial professionals.

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.