Participants Could Accept ‘Mortality-Contingent’ Products

A study found that 30% of surveyed participants would definitely or likely be willing to trade leaving inheritance in order to generate more lifetime income than would be possible otherwise.

Furthermore, 40% would possibly consider such a move, according to a news release from String Financial, based in Hartford, Connecticut, about its recent study.

String said it also found current investor education efforts are coming up short, with participants’ asserting that educational materials are:

  • difficult to understand—34% of respondents felt the materials included concepts that were not adequately explained;
  • commodity product—41% of respondents agreed that the materials do not contain information that could not be easily found elsewhere (19% disagreed);
  • ineffective—18% of respondents indicated that the educational resources led to changes in retirement planning behaviors or practices.

More than half (51%) of participants either could not estimate how much of their salary they could replace in retirement, or they estimated the percentage they could replace was less than what they needed. At the same time, 47% remained confident in their ability to maintain their standard of living in retirement.

The third-quarter 2008 survey covered more than 400 defined contribution plan participants. The full report is available here.