Guaranteed Income Trumps Control, Workers Say

Current workers and retirees would trade control of managing their retirement assets for investment growth, flexibility and guaranteed lifetime income in an income solution, a survey finds.

When asked to name the most important products or features they wanted in an income plan, 60% of respondents to the “Finding the Right Mix: Retirement Income Attitudes and Preferences” study from the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute selected the potential for investment growth. Flexibility in changing the amount of income was chosen by 55% of those surveyed, and just more than half said income that is guaranteed for life is most important to them. When asked to rank their top five plan features in terms of priority, guaranteed lifetime income received the highest average score.

As to why these features were chosen, the expectation of living a long time in retirement was the top reason respondents indicated they chose income growth. The top reasons for choosing income flexibility were the uncertainty of future expenses and having money for emergencies. Workers and retirees who prefer a guaranteed lifetime income said they chose this feature for peace of mind.

Fewer than half of respondents said controlling how their investments are managed or allocated is a top income feature. Since 2009, LIMRA has found that workers and retirees have put less emphasis on the control of how investments are managed in favor of securing an income for life.

LIMRA members can learn more about retirement income preferences by visiting the “Finding the Right Mix: Retirement Attitudes and Preferences” web page. Inquiries from non-LIMRA members can be emailed to