The need for an annuity increases every year

As Americans increasingly live longer, the need for an annuity savings plan continues to rise. The most current data from the Federal Reserve shows that the average retirement savings for Americans is only $21,120. American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) President and CEO Susan Neely expects that many retirees will live 30 years or longer in retirement and will worry about outliving their lifetime savings. To boost an awareness for the importance of annuities, the National Association for Fixed Annuities declared June to be Annuity Awareness Month in 2010. The industry group also launched AnnuRetirement in 2015, granting financial firms a platform to educate and inform the general public on the importance of annuities as part of a holistic retirement savings plan.

As part of its ongoing research into the annuity industry, CI’s Annuity Monitor research team tracked how firms promoted Annuity Awareness Month in 2022. Firms sought to boost annuity awareness by promoting their products, emphasizing the benefits of planning ahead, and how annuities can increase retirement confidence. See some of the examples our research team tracked below:

Lincoln Financial Group finds that Millennials want more growth and protection potential

During Annuity Awareness Month, Lincoln promoted its portfolio of annuity solutions for young investors as recent market volatility and vast student debt has pushed for an increase in purchasing annuity products. Lincoln’s recent study found that younger investors—Millennials under 40—plan to purchase insurance products within the next five years to ensure protected lifetime income. A survey found that a majority of millennials are most concerned about volatility (61%) and market loss (63%).

This screenshot shows Lincoln's promotional effort during Annuity Awareness Month
Lincoln’s Feature During Annuity Awareness Month

Jackson emphasizes recreational play as a solution to retirement planning paralysis

Jackson promoted the role of annuities in retirement income plans throughout the month. The firm sought to help clients destress about retirement, noting that once they actually start planning it can be a substantial stress relief. In an effort to counteract the overwhelming process of planning for retirement, Jackson now offers a play wellness plan to make retirement planning seem less overwhelming. Alison Reed, chief operating officer of Jackson National Life Distributors unit, marks the COVID-19 pandemic as a factor in hazy retirement planning among Americans and that clients’ stress levels needed to be addressed. For years, Dan Starishevsky, a Jackson marketing executive, has been making presentations about his “Play on Purpose” strategy, listing stress-relieving, child-like activities—such as riding a go-kart—so that clients can feel more at ease about planning for retirement.

Athene discovers annuity ownership increases retirement savings confidence

Athene, in part of its efforts to promote annuity awareness, released a studying showing that owning annuities increases Americans’ confidence in their retirement plans—75% of annuity owners reported that they feel on track toward their retirement goals. Athene’s study polled U.S. adults on their retirement savings strategy, thoughts on current market conditions and their understanding of annuities. The study found that over half of Americans (55%) are worried about outliving their retirement savings. Over half of the adults (58%) surveyed agreed that their retirement savings strategy will be more risk averse as retirement approaches and expressed inflation as their main concern for retirement savings (71%).

Athene focused on debunking annuity myths and highlighting the benefits of working with a financial professional —two ways to increase retirement confidence during Annuity Awareness Month. The firm’s survey found that misconceptions remain prevalent, as only 27% of Americans understand that annuities provide for tax-free growth, and only 22% recognize that annuities offer protection in down markets. In considering purchasing annuity products, 58% of Americans who currently work with a financial professional and haven’t considered purchasing an annuity say that a recommendation from their trusted professional or a trusted source would make them more inclined to purchase an annuity.

This screenshot shows Athene's press release on its survey from Annuity Awareness Month
Athene Feature During Annuity Awareness Month

States governments also promote Annuity Awareness Month

State governments have also taken steps to promote annuity awareness. Twenty-four states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have issued proclamations declaring June as Annuity Awareness Month. Such efforts fuel the National Association for Fixed Annuities’ work with legislators to introduce a Congressional Resolution that declares June as National Annuity Awareness Month. This continues a broader trend of governments becoming more friendly to annuities.

For more on the Annuity industry, as well as other UX best practices and trends across the financial services industry, check out our Insights section. And learn more about our Annuity subscription research services here.

Kathrine Fetizanan