Sean King

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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Long Promised "Day of the Annuity" Seems to Have Arrived

Sales of so-called immediate annuities are climbing as retirees are drawn to lifetime payments guaranteed by U.S. insurance companies.

Immediate annuities pay a periodic fixed amount of money for life in exchange for a lump-sum payment. New York Life Insurance Co., the largest policyholder-owned U.S. life insurer, reported an 80 percent increase in sales of the contracts during the first quarter from a year earlier.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Chris Blunt, executive vice president of retirement income security at New York Life.

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