The Big Payout: Growing Individual Retirement Income Opportunities


Mike Warner  
Conning, Inc.

Conning Research: Retirement Income Market—A Significant Growth Opportunity for Life-Annuity Insurers

(Hartford, CT) July 19, 2012—The retirement income market represents a unique opportunity for insurers to realign their solutions to meet an evolving consumer need, according to a new study by Conning Research & Consulting.

“Life and annuity insurers have been helping individuals amass assets in preparation for retirement. At the end of 2011, for example, individual and group annuities held 46 percent of all defined contribution plan assets. Beyond annuities, however, we estimate there was an additional $7.3 trillion in combined IRA and defined contribution plan assets. Now, insurers have a growing opportunity to help individuals turn those assets into retirement income,” said Scott Hawkins, analyst at Conning Research & Consulting. “Of course, these assets are attracting other competitors, primarily mutual funds who’ve also helped investors accumulate retirement assets, and insurers need to respond to that competition. However, turning those assets into a secure income stream for retirees requires managing investment volatility and longevity risk. Managing those risks plays to the natural competitive advantage insurers have over their competition.”

The Conning Research study, “The Big Payout: Growing Individual Retirement Income Opportunities” brings the opportunity associated with retirement income solutions into focus and analyzes the challenges that insurers face in planning for the growth in the retirement income market. 

“As life-annuity insurers look to the future of the retirement income market, the path to growth involves careful strategic planning,” said Stephan Christiansen, director of research at Conning. “Our analysis highlights the need for insurers to meet the competitive challenge represented by the mutual fund industry, and refine their messaging to the retiree and pre-retiree segments. Adding to the competitive marketing complexity, insurers also face substantial investment issues related to these products, and statutory capital constraints. Yet those insurers that succeed in meeting these challenges may be positioned to enjoy their largest growth opportunity over the coming decade.”

“The Big Payout: Growing Individual Retirement Income Opportunities” is available for purchase from Conning Research & Consulting by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting the company’s web site at

About Conning Research & Consulting

Conning Research & Consulting is a division of Conning, a provider of asset management and insurance industry research and consulting services to insurers.  Conning Research & Consulting has published independent insurance industry research for 50 years, including market coverage of 30 segments of the industry in addition to industry forecasting and identification and analysis of major strategic issues. As a result of its wealth of experience and intimate knowledge of the insurance industry, Conning understands industry challenges and opportunities and provides in-depth analyses on a wide range of industry products and issues. Conning is headquartered in Hartford, CT.