Annuity Product Markets to Buyers by Invoking Senior Financial Woes

Annuity provider Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) is attempting to appeal to younger potential annuity buyers by invoking the financial instability being experienced by seniors, the same generation as these prospective buyers’ parents in many cases. This is according to a story appearing in Investment News.

“The insurer issued a new annuity product Wednesday with a simple marketing pitch,” the story reads. “‘If your parents live a long time and run out of money in retirement, you could be on the hook for their care. And that could be expensive.’”

The MassMutual-owned Haven Life Insurance Agency recently rolled out its product, the “AgeUp” annuity, which acts as what’s called a “deferred income annuity.” The company says that it can act in a similar fashion to a more traditional pension or Social Security structure, but breaks the payments up into monthly installments.

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The product is designed for “consumers ranging from millennials to Generation X who want to set aside money for [parents’ care expenses], which could become more common as Americans’ longevity continues to increase,” Investment News says.

Payments under this annuity are deferred until a parent reaches the age of 91, and includes a few additional key features that set it apart from other, similar offerings according to experts.

One of the more visible differences is that it is marketed to the adult children of people either in or near retirement, but it also avoids convention by only being available to purchase online. The monthly payment structure also allows small denominations as low as $25, making it similar to the way an employee might contribute to a workplace retirement plan.

“I think it’s a different way of approaching the retirement crisis,” Tamiko Toland, head of annuity research at Cannex Financial Exchanges Ltd., said of AgeUp’s marketing to Investment News. The target market is different from the typical marketing efforts of annuity providers, which tends to focus on people near retirement. Focusing instead on young people who believe they will be responsible for housing their parents or pay for their care is a response to many problems older people face when seeking to make ends meet.

“This big middle-market customer base is largely underserved, especially when it comes to annuities or longevity products,” added Blair Baldwin, general manager of the MassMutual product to Investment News. “AgeUp is our attempt to sort of fix that.”

Read the story at Investment News.

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  • While an interesting overview, it lacks the substance needed to compare its results to general equity and debt portfolios. Perhaps this is a great product, perhaps not. Until details have been provided it is more ethereal than pragmatic. It sounds helpful but then again who knows?

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