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Federal Agencies Gather Comments on Including Annuities in Retirement Plan Options

The Treasury Department and the Department of Labor recently asked for ideas about how annuities and other investment products that offer income guarantees could be used to improve retirement security.

In response, insurance companies and trade groups have told the federal regulators that annuities and similar lifetime income products could play a major role in improving U.S. workers' retirement income security, National Underwriter reported.

But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes making it mandatory for plan sponsors to offer annuities as part of 401(k) and other retirement plans.

"Our members would like to see greater education surrounding lifetime income options and incentives for offering and taking lifetime income options," Randel K. Johnson, senior vice president of labor, immigration and employee benefits, said in a statement Tuesday. "Nonetheless, we do not believe mandates will be effective or helpful. In addition, many plan sponsors are concerned about increased liabilities that would result from mandates."

The U.S. Chamber submitted comments to the DOL reflecting those views.

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Mary Swanton

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