Friday, July 1, 2011

GAO Report Highlights Vital Role Annuities Can Play In Helping People Secure A Paycheck For Life

ACLI President & CEO Dirk Kempthorne issued the following statement today in reaction to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “Ensuring Income Throughout Retirement Requires Difficult Choices:” 

Washington, D.C. (July 1, 2011) —“The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report today that validates the vital role annuities can play in helping people secure a paycheck for life.

“An annuity is an insurance contract under which a life insurer guarantees to make payments to a person over a specified period or their lifetime. In other words, it provides a paycheck for life.  

“GAO’s report should be read by workers and retirees, as well as financial planners and policymakers. It makes clear that annuities represent an opportunity for lifetime retirement income to supplement Social Security.  

“The report describes proposals to encourage the availability of annuities in defined contribution plans, which ACLI supports.  

“The report also notes other proposed options aim to improve individuals’ financial literacy. ACLI strongly believes improved financial literacy will help people make the right choices about lifetime money management.  

“GAO said that one proposal to boost financial literacy calls for employer-sponsored retirement plan participants to receive estimates on lifetime annuity income on their benefits statements. ACLI strongly supports this bipartisan legislation, ‘The Lifetime Income Disclosure Act,’ which has been introduced in both the House and the Senate.  

“This report demonstrates that for many people, annuities represent more than a choice – they are a necessity.” 


The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association with more than 300 legal reserve life insurer and fraternal benefit society member companies operating in the United States. ACLI members represent more than 90 percent of the assets and premiums of the life insurance and annuity industry. In addition to life insurance and annuities, ACLI member companies offer pensions, 401(k) and other retirement plans, long-term care and disability income insurance, and reinsurance. ACLI's public Web site can be accessed at


The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) advocates on behalf of 280 member companies dedicated to providing products and services that promote consumers’ financial and retirement security. 90 million American families depend on our members for life insurance, annuities, retirement plans, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, reinsurance, dental and vision and other supplemental benefits. ACLI represents member companies in state, federal and international forums for public policy that supports the industry marketplace and the families that rely on life insurers’ products for peace of mind. ACLI members represent 95 percent of industry assets in the United States. Learn more at

Date Posted: July 1, 2011
Document ID: NR11-027