The Insured Retirement Institute and other insurance agencies are working hard to make sure that the government doesn’t change the current annuity tax benefits. Investment News’ Mark Schoeff wrote about the potential changes in “Deferral denial? Annuity tax alteration would wound middle class.” As the federal government looks for ways to balance their budget and pay for recent spending, products with tax deferral benefits like annuities may just lose one of their top benefits. The entire insurance industry is working to convince the government that cutting out the tax deferral for annuity products will really hurt the middle class. The IRI reports that 80% of people investing in annuities make below $100,000 a year and 64% make below $75,000. By cutting out the benefit that lets investors’ money grow tax-deferred until they start receiving payments, it will hurt their ability to save for retirement.
Even if investors lose the ability to grow their money tax-deferred, it may not result in a decrease of their final value. However, they will have to use another source of income to pay for the taxes yearly if they have purchased a deferred rather than an immediate annuity. The IRI’s president and CEO stresses the importance of annuities for Americans saving for retirement because they have lost many of the traditional pensions that guaranteed them retirement income in the past. Tax-deferred annuities provide Americans with the guaranteed monthly lifetime income that they need throughout retirement. Since there are skeptics basing their annuity information on the few bad apples in the industry, organizations like the IRI have to work extra hard to convince lawmakers and politicians how beneficial annuities are, especially to the middle class.