Annuities and Inflation RiskPosted September 1st, 2011
Fixed income annuity contracts are a great hedge against longevity risk that can help provide retirement income sufficiency in an increasingly uncertain environment. But even with a fixed annuity, income sufficiency is a tricky goal to attain when you’re walking uphill against inflation.
Since a $100,000 annuity pays the same $650/month in January 2032 as it does in January 2012, it must be paired with a strategy that hedges against inflation. Writing for Forbes earlier this month, Stephen Horan, PhD, discussed the lesser-known cousin of the fixed annuity, the inflation-protected annuity.
An inflation-protected annuity is generally a “fixed” annuity that includes a component that ratchets up payments each year to account for inflation. There are two general types of inflation protected annuities: (1) those that account for inflation by increasing payments by a fixed percentage (e.g., 4%) each year to account for inflation; and (2) those with a variable increase that is tied to an inflation indicator like the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
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For previous coverage of annuities in Advisor’s Journal, see Annuities: They Get No Respect (CC 11-120), Annuity Respect: Earning It! (CC 11-150), & How Much to Allocate to Annuities: A Critical Analysis (CC 11-109).